fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Frank Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:16:51 +0400
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY THIS REQUIRES YOUR URGENT RESPOND ASAP
I am Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva from the United States Department of Homeland Security
This final notification is to inform you about the termination of your transaction and confiscation of your unclaimed fund from the United Nations. With much of the economy on lock down, The United States government announces emergency COVID-19 tax relief. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has decided to settle all outstanding debts and also release all pending funds by waiving the huge taxes attached to it.
After due verification and evaluation of your files, it was discovered that you are eligible to receive the total sum of US$7,500,000.00 a way of bringing occasional help and sacrifice in the world, as well as helping in the fight with the recent spread of the Corona Virus disease (COVID). -19)
The delivery officer with your fund has been waiting at the airport with your fund and the IMF authorities will terminate your transaction and confiscate your fund
after today, so you need to reply back to me immediately you receive this message because you will need to rush down to your airport and receive your fund immediately
today because the IMF authorities will terminate your transaction and confiscate your fund after today.
Take Note: The only fee you will need to pay and receive your fund is $50 only as ordered by the Supreme Court
ALSO LEAVE ME A TEXT MESSAGE IF AM UNABLE TO CONNECT YOUR CALL FOR FURTHER ENQUIRIES +1 (361) 596 6173
Reply back to me immediately so that you must receive your fund today
Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva
Department of IMF Headquarters USA.