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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Ellen Ochoa" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:57:21 -0800
Subject: Re: Notification from Federal Reserve Bank

Dear Beneficiary,

This notification message is from the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas,Your name (Name withheld) is enlisted among the beneficiary whose fund was approved for payment by the Board and Governors of Federal Reserve Bank, and we have been waiting for you to contact us to claim your funds worth $56 Million dollar. To our surprise, one Mrs. Brenda Miller came forward for the fund, that you asked her to claim the fund on your behalf with documentary evidence which we are not sure of it source,this is why we decided to contact you to confirm to us if you actually sent her (Mrs Brenda Miller) to claim your funds.

She said, you instructed her that the fund should be transfer to the below account detail,but because of the name on the account, we have to confirm.

Bank name : Heritage Oaks
Bank Address : 545 Twelfth St, Paso Robles, California 93448
Phone Number: 1(805)239-5200
Account number: 001453521
Routing: 122239982
Swiftcode: HEOAUS61
Beneficiary name: Brenda Miller

Most importantly, confirm to us urgently if you gave permission to Mrs Brenda Miller to claim your fund on your behalf and should in case you did not authorize her, then you will have to stop every communication with impersonators and their cohorts, because they are trying to divert your fund to themselves. She tried so hard to change the fund ownership to her name but permission was not granted until we hear from you.

We await your prompt response,

Ellen Ochoa
Federal Reserve System
2200 N Pearl St, Dallas, TX 75201, USA

Anti-fraud resources: