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:
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "headquater" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 OF NEW YORK" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:12:54 +0100
Subject: Re: Atten:Beneficiary!!Payment Notification!!Should We Pay Your Representatives The $22.5m?alter
From the Desk Of Mrs.Janet Louise Yellen
Federal Reserve Bank
Today at 2:39 AM
Headquater : New York, NY, United States of America
Founded : 1914, New York City, New York, United States
ADDRESS : 33 Liberty St New York , NY 10045-0001
From the desk of Mrs.Janet Louise Yellen
We apologies for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences we might put you through, while we were having some minor problems with our payment system which in all case not meeting up with fund beneficiary payments, we apologies once again.
From the records of outstanding contractors due for payment with federal Government of U.S.A your name was discovered as next on the list out of the 11 outstanding contractors who have not yet received their payments during the 3 years tenure of the previous administration in office please bear with us for making this initial contact through email. Meanwhile, a woman came to this bank a few days ago with a letter claiming to be your true representative and is willing to pay $100 the wire/transfer charge to have the fund delivered to her. Here is her informations below.
Name: Mrs.Annette stillman
Bank name: Citibank , Arizona , USA .
Account Number: 6503809008
Routing number: 322271627
Address: 1723 Palmdale Bulv
Please do reconfirm to this bank as a matter of urgency if this woman is from you or not so that the federal government will not be held responsible for paying into wrong account, if this woman is not your representative, you requested to fill and send this information for verification purpose so that your fund valued ($22.500, 000.00 usd) will be remitted into your nominated bank account.
Kindly reconfirm to the bank the following:
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
Secondly,you are to get the needed documents at a stipulated fee to be remitted by the beneficiary before the said funds $22.5m can be released to you.
You alerted reply urgent
Mrs.Janet Louise Yellen
Director Federal Reserve Bank
33 Liberty St New York , NY 10045-0001