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:
- ",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)
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "FEDERAL PROJECT" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:36:28 -0700
Subject: REGARDING UNPAID FUNDS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
(Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber Crime Division)
Tel: +1(701) 203-3045
FUNDS REIMBURSEMENT & COMPENSATION COMMITTEE
This is to notify you that your overdue unclaimed funds have been approved for payment, thereby our database incline the fund's worth $4,500,000.00 and was preserved in Escrow Account under the watch of Deutsche Bank AG. Therefore the funds transfer payment shall be executed via Electronic Wire Transfer etc. also have in mind this shall be conducted in a legal manner so as not to bridge the law so the transfer would made by the "aformentioned bank" which's officially assigned as the paying bank for unclaimed/unpaid funds as well as other federal transactions related to both domestic & international projects.
Please be informed that several attempts to contact you were unsuccessful and this is the last email to you in respect to this recent development. Meanwhile, a power of attorney was received from one Thomas Cabico whom's happen to a USA citizen issued a claim stating you authorizing that the fund beneficiary be changed to his name. Hence we are seeking for your confirmation to end this ASAP; kindly reconfirm this informationís below.
NOTE: You are advised to respond to this email within the next 7 working days to avoid any changes that might not be beneficial to your payment file or even escalate into controversies.
MS. LORETTA E. LYNCH
MOBILE NO.: +1(701) 203-3045