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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "IMF Department" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 17:09:23 -0800
Subject: An Important Information.
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
ADDRESS: 700 19TH ST NW,
WASHINGTON, DC 20431, USA.
I write to acknowledge the receipt of your email with all content noted.
However I have a very important information for you which will be
of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been
experiencing in getting your long overdue payment due to excessive
demand for money from you by both corrupt bank officials and courier
companies after which your fund remains unpaid to you.
I am Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director (MD) of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). It may interest you to know that reports have
reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy way which
people like you are treated by various banks and courier companies
diplomat(s) across Europe to Africa and Asia, and we have
decided to put a stop to that and that is why I am focusing more on
such transactions from the (IMF) HQ Washington, DC 20431, USA.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGO's, Finance
Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Diplomat(s) which have been
in contact with you of late have been instructed to back off from your
transaction and you have been advised NOT to respond to them anymore
since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarter is now directly in
charge of your Contract Sum, Lottery/Inheritance payment $10,300,000.00 USD
(Ten Million Three Hundred Thousand United State Dollars).
You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any
institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be
transferred to you directly from our source. I hope this is clear. Any
action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
In order for us to proceed you must get back to us with the below
Your Full Names:
We shall give you further details on how your fund will be released to
Mrs Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director (MD)
IMF Head Office
Address: 700 19th St NW,
Washington, DC 20431, USA