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:
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Mr JAMES P GORMAN <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:55:37 -0400
Subject: Urgent Notice...
BANK FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
ADDRESS: 33 LIBERTY STREET,
NEW YORK, N.Y 10038.
E-MAIL ADDRESS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ATTN: FUND BENEFICIARY,
WE RECEIVED A PAYMENT CREDIT INSTRUCTION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF
NIGERIA TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH YOUR FULL
INHERITANCE FUND OF US$10.500.000.00 MILLION (TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED
THOUSAND UNITED STATES AMERICAN DOLLARS) ONLY. FROM THE NIGERIAN RESERVE
ACCOUNT WITH OUR BANK
HOWEVER, YOU SHALL REQUIRE PROVIDING THE FOLLOWINGS DETAILS BELOW WHERE
YOU WANT YOUâRE FUND TO BE TRANSFERRED.
(1). YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS:
(2). YOUR CONFIDENTIAL TELL, CELL AND FAX NUMBER FOR EASIER AND FASTER
(3). YOUR BANK NAME AND ADDRESS:
(4). YOUR A/C NAME AND NUMBERS:
(5). YOUR SWIFT CODE / ROUTING NUMBERS:
(6). OCCUPATION / MARITAL STATUS:
(7). I.D CARD/INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT COPY:
BE INFORMED THAT TRANSFER WILL COMMENCE IMMEDIATELY WE HEAR FROM YOU
WITH THE ACCOUNT INFORMATION. ONCE MORE, BANK FEDERAL
RESERVE BOARD WILL NOT HESITATE TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITHIN 24HOURS IN
ACCORDANCE WITH FUND RELEASE ORDER REGULATIONS.
YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE IS HIGHLY NEEDED TO ENABLE US COMMENCE FOR THE
THANKS FOR BANKING WITH FEDERAL RESERVE BANK WHILE WE LOOKING FORWARD TO
SERVING YOU BETTER.
CONGRATULATION TO YOUR INHERITANCE FUND
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU
MR.JAMES P. GORMAN
CHAIRMAN FEDERAL RESERVE BANK NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA