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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Federal Reserve Bank <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 20:02:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Federal Reserve Bank
Federal Reserve Bank
20th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W
Mail Stop K300
Washington, D.C. 20551
Your payment files from three (3) different banks, Natwest Bank of London, Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of America was compiled and submitted to my desk this morning for review. The total sum owed to you by the 3 banks mentioned above was sum up to the tune of US$15,500,000.00 (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
Now the fund has been totally lodged in one particular Escrow account (non deductible) here in the Federal Reserve Bank on your name, while waiting for accreditation to your personal bank account in any part of the world.
Meanwhile, after due scrutiny and verification, I confirmed that you have fulfilled all the necessary obligations that will enable the release of your payment to you, but yet your payment was not released to you due to one flimsy excuses or the other from the Bank officials in charge of your payment, because they had the intention of diverting your funds to their private accounts in order to satisfy their selfish interest.
You are however lucky that we the management of the US Federal Reserved Bank detected their evil plans and therefore call for the submission of your payment file to us so we can personally handle the payment assignment to ensure that you receive your funds accordingly.
Now, all modalities regarding your fund release has been put in place here in the Reserve Bank of America, thus, your funds has been made ready for transfer in our sophisticated macro transfer system, what we need from you now is to provide to us the bank account of your choice which you want us to transfer your funds so we can expedite action for the accreditation of your funds into your account immediately.
Below are the information needed for now for your transfer.
1. Personal Details:
Direct Mobile Number:
Passport Copy, ID card or DL:
2. Banking Details:
Note: If you prefer to receive your funds in form of a Visa Card, we could load and ship your Visa Card to your address which will permit you a daily withdrawal limit of US$3000 or write a draft check which can be deposited in any bank and send to you.
In anticipating for your urgent cooperation
Janet Louise Yellen
Federal Reserved Bank