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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jones Green" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 18:16:51 -0700
Subject: It'S important you get back to us as soon as possible
The United States Federal Reserve New York
Ref.: Payment Release Update.
Amount Valued: US$25,800,000.00.
Foreign payment allocation security code (US/A84PRFGN2015)
By means of this message, we wish to inform you that your hour of compensa=
tion and actualization has come after our meeting with the United Nations C=
ommittee on =
International Funds Transfer Payment , Bank of America and the United Stat=
es Federal Reserve , it has been agreed that your real approved funds value=
$20,500,000.00 and the compensation of US$5,300,000.00 (Total US$25,800,00=
0.00) will now be processed and released to your Bank Account through Wire =
Department of the The United States Federal Reserve New York. To this effe=
ct, you are to contact us with the details below for the immediate =
release of your funds.
Thanks and Congratulations in Advance.
Mr. Jones Green
United States Federal Reserve