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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million 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)
- 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: "Federal Reserve Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 05:47:43 -0400
Subject: Are you alive and okay? did you approve Mr. Manankov to claim your funds?
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This is to inform you that we have received a payment instruction from Mr. Victor Manankov, a Russian citizen demanding
that we should transfer your funds to him, as you have given him the mandate and authorization for him to receive your
funds interest of (Twelve Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million United States Dollars).
Note that he has given us a bank account in Russia, where we should transfer your funds to him without delay.
VTB Bank Russia
Bank Address: 43 Ul. Vorontsovskaya, Moscow, 109044 Russia
Bank Tel: +7 (495) 739-77-99
Account name: Victor Manankov
Account number: 05334599
Swift code: VTBRRUMM
IBAN number: RU643VB40702810000350137480
Please, find his passport attached in this email for you to verify and identify if you have truly instructed and directed
him to receive your funds.We have informed him to get an official Power of Authorization from you, before we will release
the funds to him, which we are still waiting for. However, we want to inform and confirm to us at the FRB that you
actually authorized him: you have within the next five (5) official working days to get back to us on this notice or we
will release the funds to him.
Federal Reserve Bank
United States of America
Direct line: +1(210)417-4678
The content of this email together with any attachments, statements and opinions expressed herein contains information that is private and confidential are intended for the named addressee(s) only. You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of or reliance on the information contained in and transmitted with this e-mail message by or to anyone other than the recipient designated above is unauthorized and is strictly prohibited. If you are not the named recipient of this e-mail message or have otherwise received this e-mail message in error, please delete the message immediately and notify the sender immediately via return e-mail or via telephone.