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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ICPC COTE D`IVOIRE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2020 12:49:37 +0100
Subject: RE: PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS
*INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES COMMISSION*
*OFFICE OF THE WORLD BANK TASK FORCE COMMITTEE*
*9, AVENUE JOSEPH ANOMA ABIDJAN*
*RE: PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS*
This mail is from the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (Task force
committee) Abidjan Cote d`Ivoire. The ICPC financial task force committee
was constituted by the World bank in conjunction with government of
countries of the world based on series of petitions received from foreign
contractors, international bodies, private individuals, lottery winners and
non-governmental organizations (NGO) on the inability of some government of
countries of the World, commercial banks and other financial regulatory
bodies to settle their clients fund claim/payment.
From our records of outstanding fund beneficiary due for payment your name
was discovered in our PAYMENTS SYSTEM DATABASE (PSDB) as having an
abandoned/denied fund payment.Our payment verification and transfer
implementation department has been instructed to commence the payment of
$1,000,000 (One Million US Dollars) to all shortlisted beneficiaries. The
task force decided to take this initiative of paying $1 Million each to all
shortlisted beneficiaries due to a report we received of the inability of
some fund beneficiaries to pay documentation fees that will facilitate the
wire transfer of their total fund. Therefore you advise as a matter of
warning to stop further contact with all banks, lawyers and individuals you
may have been dealing with in the past if you are indeed desirous of
receiving your payment.
We are taking the initiative to pay the $1 Million Dollar by prepaid
NETSPEND ATM card since it is a gift card and is not intercepted by the
government. The payment is also to allow beneficiaries first hand access to
cash to alleviate their situation and so that they can be able to sponsor
the wire transfer of their balance.
I await your prompt response.
*Mrs. Rita Kone*
Abidjan Cote d`Ivoire