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:
- 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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ben S. Bernanke" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 11:30:04 +0300
Subject: Chairman Federal Reserve Bank New York
CONTRACT FUND CREDIT FROM FEDERAL RESERVE BANK BOARD USA
We received the instruction letter to credit $10.5million to your account .
We wish to let you know that all difficulties has been remove for the success
of this contract fund to be credited into the your personal account.
Your response is required to enable us credit your account without further
delay and you are also require to get back to us with the reconfirmation of
your banking information for us to know whether what we have in our files is
correct .This is to avoid crediting your fund into wrong account.
CONGRATULATION FOR YOUR CONTRACT FUND.
Please be fast on this matter.
Thanks and God bless you.
Ben S. Bernanke.
Chairman Federal Reserve Bank New York,