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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stanley Fischer" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:22:53 -0800
Subject: NOTIFICATION FROM FEDERAL RESERVE BANK.
NOTIFICATION FROM FEDERAL RESERVE BANK.
Attn: Dear Beneficiary,
We have this day , received a payment credit instruction from
Janet Yellen, Chairman, Federal Reserve Bank New York under the
instruction of the United Nations and World bank.
You can see the details of the allocated fund through this
We are advised to credit your account with your compensation funds
allocated in your name to the tune of US$4.5 million
(Four million and five hundred Thousand united states dollars)
from their reserve accounts with us.
Meanwhile, a woman came to my office few days ago with a letter,
claiming to be your true representative,that you are dead.
HERE ARE HER INFORMATION:
BANK NAME: CITI BANK,YORK.
BANK ADDRESS:NEW YORK, USA.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428.
Please , do reconfirm to this office , as a matter of urgency if
this woman is from you so that the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT will not
be held responsible for paying into a wrong account.
The Reserve Bank Chairman, Executive, Board Of Directors and the
Senate Committee for Foreign Overdue Inheritance Fund have approved
and accredited this reputable bank with the office of the DIRECTOR,
International Remittance/Foreign Operations, to handle and transfer
all foreign inheritance funds this second quarter of the year.
Provide us with your NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER for proper verification
and confirmtion of your FILE.
However, we shall proceed to issue all payment details to the said
Mrs.Janet Mellberg, if we do not hear from you within the next
Seven (7) working days from today.
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
Telegraphic Transfer Department
Federal Reserve Bank.
New York, USA.