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:
- ",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)
- 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: "Federal Bureau of Investigation" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 16:05:18 +0300
Subject: RE: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI.
JAMES BRIEN COMEY,JR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET.
WE HOPE THIS NOTIFICATION ARRIVES MEETING YOU IN GOOD HEALTH AND MIND. (FBI) WASHINGTON,DC IN CONJUNCTION WITH SOME OTHER RELEVANT INVESTIGATING AGENCIES HERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAVE RECENTLY BEEN INFORMED THROUGH OUR GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE MONITORING NETWORK THAT YOU HAVE AN OVER-DUE PAYMENT IN TUNE OF$10,500,000 (TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS).
IT MIGHT INTEREST YOU TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE TAKEN OUR TIME IN SCREENING THROUGH THIS PROJECT AS STIPULATED ON OUR PROTOCOL OF OPERATION AND HAVE FINALLY CONFIRMED THAT YOUR PAYMENT/TRANSACTION WITH CITIBANK IS 100% GENUINE AND HITCH FREE FROM ALL FACETS AND OF WHICH YOU HAVE THE LAWFUL RIGHT TO CLAIM YOUR FUNDS WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY. WE WILL FURTHER ADVISE THAT YOU GO AHEAD IN DEALING WITH CITIBANK ACCORDINGLY AS WE WILL BE MONITORING ALL THEIR ACTIVITIES WITH YOU AS WELL AS YOUR CORRESPONDENCE AT ALL LEVEL.
NOTE: IMMEDIATELY IN YOUR BEST INTEREST CONTACT THE REAL BANK CITIBANK IOWA BRANCH ONLY WHERE YOUR FUND IS LAYING,WITH THE BELOW INFORMATION:
BANK NAME: CITIBANK
DEPARTMENT CODE: #ZXK95101
ADDRESS:1310 SOUTH GILBERT STREET IA UNITED STATES.
ATTN: MICHAEL REED
CONTACT THE BANK TODAY AND FURNISH THEM WITH THIS INFORMATION BELOW FOR PROCESSING OF YOUR PAYMENT/FUNDS ACCORDINGLY.
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:
THANKS YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ANTICIPATION CO-OPERATION.
JAMES BRIEN COMEY.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
J.EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE
NW WASHINGTON, D.C.