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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "00,000.00" (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" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 07:36:00 +0700
Subject: Instruction To Credit Your Account!
I am Janet L. Yellen, the Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. You will get more information about me here.
I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/corporations with respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment. This is to make sure all outstanding payments are settled before the end of the fiscal year 2014.
You have been approved to receive your outstanding funds valued at $4,700,000.00 (Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only). Your funds will be transferred to your nominated bank account or your preferred payment option either by Certified Bank Check or an ATM MasterCard issued and delivered to you.
You are advised to kindly reply this email and submit the requested details below to help us process your payment;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Current Phone Number:
(5) Country of Residence:
Thanks for your co-operation as I wait to hear from you.
Janet L. Yellen
Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank
Note: The information contained in this e-mail is private & confidential and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us, preferably by e-mail, and do not read, copy or disclose the contents of this message to anyone.