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 us 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "JAMES COMEY[F.B.I]" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2016 16:03:48 -0000
Subject: FBI LETTER[CODE:210]w]
JAMES BRIEN COMEY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON D.C
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP
The Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) Washington,D.C
in conjunction with some other relevant Investigations Agencies
have recently been informed through our Global intelligence
monitoring network that your over-due contract payment
which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly by the
Central bank of Malaysia(Bank Negara Malaysia) has not been claimed.
It might interest you to know that we have taken out time
in screening through this project as stipulated on our
protocol of operation and have finally
confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine and
hitch free from all facet and of which you have the lawful
right to claim your fund without any further delay.
We further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the
Central Bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring all
their services with you as well as your correspondence at
We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs.
Joan C.Bailey from OHIO has already contacted them and also
presented to them all the necessary documentation evidencing your
claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to
the release of your contract fund valued at about $25million us dollars
but the Central Bank office did the wise thing by insisting on
hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring
your fund to the Bank information which was forwarded to
them by the above named Lady so that the main reason why they
contacted us so as to assist them in making the investigation.
Contact immediately the office of the Central Bank of Malaysia
(Bank Negara Malaysia) via email with the below information accordingly:
NAME: Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
OFFICE ADDRESS: Bank Negara Malaysia,
Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan,Kuala Lumpur,
Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the office
of the Governor of the Central Bank immediately with
the above email address and request that they attend
to your payment file as directed,
so as to enable you receive your contract fund accordingly.
To this effect, you are required to reconfirm and
authenticate your given particulars below for certainty
and onward processing and release of you funds
as we may not be held liable for any wrong payment.
FULL NAMES: __________________________________
TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________
Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by
them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedure
as regard to the transfer of your fund to you as designated.
Also have in mind that the Central Bank of Malaysia
equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated
on their banking terms, so delay could be very dangerous.
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in
advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.
James Brien Comey
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.