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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "CITIBANK" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2021 10:16:18 +0200
Subject: URGENT NOTICE
FROM THE DESK OF MR.DENIS K. MONTAG
FUND OPERATIONAL MANAGER
CITI BANK NEW YORK, NY 10016, USA
OUR REF: CBUX0021-ODCS/021
THE RECENT LAUNCHED JOINT EXTERNAL DEBT HUB (JEDH) BY THE INTER-AGENCY
TASK FORCE ON FINANCE STATISTICS (TFFS) THIS JOINT LAUNCH IS BY THE
BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS (BIS), INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
(IMF), ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD),
AND THE WORLD BANK AND REPRESENTS EFFORTS TO SYNERGIZE INTERNATIONAL
ADVANCES IN THE AREA OF EXTERNAL DEBT STATISTICS. DUE TO THIS NEW
ORGANIZATION, THE WORLD BANK HAS GRATIFIED THE INTERNATIONAL DEBT
MANAGEMENT TO LOOK INTO THE ALL OUTSTANDING CONTRACTORS/WORKERS DUE
FOR PAYMENT WITH US GOVERNMENT. IN REGARDS TO THIS, YOUR NAME WAS
AMONG THE UNSETTLED CONTRACTORS/WORKERS WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR
PAYMENTS. I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT THE INTERNATIONAL DEBT MANAGEMENT
HAS BEEN APPROVED AND INSTRUCTED BY WORLD DEBT ORGANIZATION & WORLD
BANK TO PROCESS AND RELEASE ALL THE OUTSTANDING PAYMENT WHICH HAS BEEN
DUE FOR PAYMENT.
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY NOTIFY YOU THAT THE WORLD BANK IN CONJUNCTION
WITH THE UNITED STATES SET ASIDE US$3.4BILLION TO PAY IN GOOD CLAIMS
FROM FOREIGN INHERITANCE FUND (NEXT OF KIN); IN LINE WITH THIS
ARRANGEMENT THE UNITED STATES ON FOREIGN DEBT MATTERS (USFDM) ORDERED
THAT CONTRACTORS AND NEXT-OF-KINS WHOSE FILE HAVE SHOWN SUFFICIENT
PROOF REGARDING JOB EXECUTION AND DEBT OUTSTANDING BE SETTLED WITHOUT
DELAY. WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR FILE WAS FORWARDED TO CITIBANK
NEW YORK BY VARIOUS OFFICES AND DEPARTMENT SHOWING THAT YOU HAVE
FULFILLED ALL CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT.
ONE OF THE REASONS YOUR PAYMENT HAD BEEN DELAYED FOR SO LONG WAS
BECAUSE OF COUNTER-CLAIM ON YOUR FUND, THIS NECESSITATED THE PERUSAL
OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT, WE WERE CONVINCED BUT
THAT YOU ARE THE BONA-FIDE BENEFICIARY TO THE SAID FUND. THE ATTEMPTS
TO DIVERT YOUR PAYMENT TO FOREIGN ACCOUNT WAS DONE BY YOUR LOCAL
REPRESENTATIVES IN COLLABORATION WITH SOME OFFICIALS AND MOST OF THE
OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN SEVERAL EXECUTIVE MISCONDUCTS HAVE BEEN SACKED.
I HEREBY TO INFORM YOU THIS DAY THAT YOUR INHERITANCE SUM CALCULATED
US$23.3M SHALL BE PAID TO YOU VIA ATM CARD OR ANY OTHER CHOICE YOU TICK
FOR YOUR US$23.3M SHALL BE PAID TO YOU DUE TO RULES/REGULATION GUIDING
BANK SECRECY ACT(BSA). BE AWARE THAT ALL NECESSARY MODALITIES CONCERNING THE
RELEASE OF YOUR FUND HAVE REGULARIZED, SO ALL WE REQUIRE FROM IS YOUR HONEST
CONCENTRATION TO MAKE THIS ATM CARD TO BE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP WITHIN
72HRS. FINALLY, KINDLY PROVIDE THE ABOVE INFORMATION BELOW AND GET BACK TO US WITH
DETAILS FOR YOUR ATM CARD TO BE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP:
PERSONAL PHONE/MOBILE NO:
ATTACHE COPY OF YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE:
PLEASE DO PROVIDE THE ABOVE INFORMATION ACCURATELY, BECAUSE THIS
OFFICE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY WRONG DELIVERED OF
FUNDS VIA ATM CARD.THANKS FOR BANKING WITH CITI BANK WHILE WE LOOKING
FORWARD TO SERVING YOU WITH THE BEST OF OUR SERVICE.PLEASE DO PROVIDE
THE ABOVE INFORMATION AND FORWARD YOU ARE ADVICE TO EMAIL ME BACK VIA
MY PRIVATE MAILBOX AT: email@example.com
IN ANTICIPATION OF YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
THANKS AND GOD BLESS
MR.DENIS K. MONTAG
FUND OPERATIONAL MANAGER
HEAD FOREIGN TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
CITIBANK NEW YORK, NY 10016, USA