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:
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Federal Reserve Bank of New York" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 01:46:08 +0200
Subject: Release Order.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street,
New York, NY 10045.
Tel: 917 740 6989
Our Ref: FRB-01LBNYUS09
Attention : Fund Beneficiary
Payment Notice From Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Acting on our capacity as the international correspondent bank to the International Monetary Fund Organization, this is to officially notify you that we have received a confirmation advice from the International Monetary Funds External Auditors Committee, World Bank and the United Nations Organization WITH PAYMENT REFERENCE NUMBER: IMF/FRBLNY8990-93WB82UN567-G requesting our bank to credit your bank account with the total sum of Eleven Million, Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$11.3M) directly from our branch here in New York.
In consideration of the above, you have been issued with this Exclusive Reference Identification Number (IMF/FRB-NY/9USXX10751/09),Vide Transaction No.: WHA/US/762 and Transfer Allocation No.: FRB/G20/876LN/NYC/US, Password: 543217, Pin Code: 00275, Certificate of Merit No: 885, Release Code No: 6512; Telex Confirmation No: -999922; Secret Code: FRBNY077. Having received these vital payment numbers, you are instantly qualified to receive and confirm your payment within the next 72hrs as necessary clearance has been granted from the International Monetary Funds External Auditors to release the funds to you with immediate effect.
In view of this directive received from the International Monetary Funds (IMF), we have on our own part verified your payment file as directed to us, and your name is next on the list of outstanding fund
beneficiaries to receive their payment at this last quarter of year 2011.
Owing to security reasons, be clearly informed that we will not respond to any phone calls/general inquiries placed to our bank with regards to the remittance of your funds by beneficiaries as we are
barred from doing so, you are therefore advised to communicate only with the accredited officer Mr.Robert Larsen for further remittance advice.We wish to inform you of the need for you to also re-confirm
the below information:
1. First Name:
2. Middle Name:
3. Last Name:
4. Home Phone Number:
5. Cell Phone Number:
6. Home Address:
7. Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
8. Driver's License/ Passport Copy:
9. Marital Status:
10. Current Employer's Name:
12. Your Bank name;
13. Your Bank Address;
14. Account name and Number;
15. ABA/Routing Number;
16. Swift or Sort Code/IBAN;
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
DIRECTOR OF FUNDS TRANSFER UNIT.