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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Axel Schimmelpfennig" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 09:41:59 +0200
Subject: Contact Person: Mr. Lungisa Fuzile (CEO)
Good day to you,
I hope this email finds you well.
I'm Axel Schimmelpfennig, the newly-sworn Chairperson International Monetary Fund Organization South Africa. I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/corporations concerning local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling, and outstanding compensation payment. This is to make sure that all outstanding payments accrued to individuals or organizations are settled before the end of the fiscal year 2020. I have your file here in my office and it says that you are yet to receive your fund valued at $10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars only). And the money was deposited with Standard Bank South Africa.
Today I made an arrangement with the CEO of the bank Mr. Lungisa Fuzile to transfer the fund to you without any hitch.
Below are his contact details,
Contact Person: Mr. Lungisa Fuzile (CEO)
Tel: +27 68 293 0793
Please contact him with your full information to help them process your payment;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Current Phone Number:
(5) Country of Residence:
(8) Clear Copy of your Valid Passport/Drivers license
Note: This email address is not monitored, make sure to forward your information to Mr.Fuzile his email is
Senior Resident Representative
International Monetary Fund
Hatfield, South Africa