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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Frederik Van Bommel" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 15:21:56 -0800
Subject: Re: An-unspent US$58.9M IMF Investment Fund.
Re: An-unspent US$58.9M IMF Investment Fund:
I am the Chief Budget Management Officer and a senior Economic Strategist of OFFICE OF BUDGET AND PLANNING (OBP), International Monetary Fund, IMF. However, I am reaching you on this mail not in that capacity, but in my individual self as you will find out reading below.
To start with, the amount above is a left over/or unspent approved and budgeted FUNDS for various IMF administrative and capital budgets under the purview of my office in 2020. However, due to heavy global financial red tape brought about by the covid-19 pandemic last year, and restrictions on release of non-institutional lump sums, the left over amount was carefully "KEPT APART" in a [BANK SECURITY VAULT] where it would be moved/transferred into the custody/bank account of an interested partner (since I am unable to receive it directly in my name) for a possible Private Investment Contract (PIC) Boost Fund (between us) under your steer-ship and management. But if you are not disposed to our joint investment partnership, of course we can decide on a 50/50 split of the money which allows each of us to take our shares accordingly.
In the light of this, please reply me urgently and feel at ease to request for any additional information/clarification regarding your involvement.
Owing to self protection and sensitivity of my present position, I will appreciate your “WORD” that this transaction shall remain very confidential between the two of us.
Frederik Van Bommel