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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to 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)
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: FEDERAL RESERVE BANK <"www.usgovt."@abelia.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "MR. DEAN BRUCE" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:07:34 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATTENTION DEAR BENEFICIARY ON YOUR COMPENSATION FUND
Headquarters: California, CA, United States of America
Founded: 1914, Los Angeles, California, United States
ADDRESS: PO Box 51172. Los Angeles, CA 94104.
From the desk of Mr. Dean Bruce
Text or Call +1 (562) 473-3157
We have this day received a payment credit instruction from the Federal Reserve Bank to credit your account with your full COMPENSATION fund of $8.6 Million US Dollars from the Benin Reserve Account with our UNITED STATES FEDERAL RESERVE.
Meanwhile a man came to this bank with a letter claiming to be your true representative and is willing to pay $155 for the Fund Transfer Fee to have the fund delivered to HIM. Here is he's information below.
Name: MR CHARLES SALI
Bank name: PT.BANK RAKYAT INDONESIA
Account Number: 3203869048
Routing number: 802273657
Address: PAJAJARAN HIGHWAY NUMBER 96 A - B, JABODETABEK PROVINCE , REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
Please do reconfirm to this bank as a matter of urgency if this man is from you or not so that the United States Government will not beheld responsible for paying into wrong account, if this man is not your representative, you are requested to fill and send this information for verification purpose so that your fund valued ($8.600, 000.00 usd) will be remitted in to your nominated bank account.
Please do provide the above information accurately, because this office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds credited into a ghost account.
1. Your name:
3. Your telephone/Mobile number:
4. Bank Name:
5. Bank account number:
6. Routing number:
7. Swift code:
8. Bank name:
9. Company name:
12. Working Id/ Int$B!G(Bl Passport
N.B (Provide only Available information)
I anticipate your urgent reply.
Mr. Dean Bruce
+1 (562) 473-3157
FOR: President Federal Reserve Bank.