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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "Hon. Miroslav Lajc?k" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 11:08:30 -0800
Subject: Your $12,750,000.00 has been Released
According to the ethics of an office, introduction is always very important on a first contact like this, My name is Hon. Miroslav Lajc?k of Slovakia, the United Nations General Assembly President, (UNGA) In the department of UN COMPENSATION FUND UNIT, I'm in charge of Investigating through unpaid project, Inheritance funds, Lottery and other means of payment that was denied the real beneficiary, This Official Memorandum is to inform you that we discovered that some officials whom work under the United Kingdom government have attempted to divert your Funds through a back-door channel. We actually discovered this today, through our Secret Agents under the Disciplinary Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service after we apprehended a suspect,
Such attempt is a criminal offense and is punishable under the money laundering act of 1982 of United Kingdom. This decree is a globalize law applicable in most developed countries in order to check-mate terrorism and money laundering. From our gathered information here in this Unit, we discovered that the said Funds in question actually belongs to you, but it had been purposely delayed because the officials in charge of your Payment are into some sort of irregularities which is totally against the ethics of any Payment institution. Presently, this said Funds is under the custody of the Paying Bank Federal Reserve Bank USA,
We are hereby to bring to your Notice that your total sum of $12,750,000.00 have been forwarded to the federal Reserve bank of ATLANTA GA Doe to the delay and Problems You have in this transactions, You are hereby advised to Contact the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GA, Dr. Raphael W. Bostic, he is now in the Position to approve and Remit your total sum Directly to your account, we require your positive co-operation at every level because we are closely monitoring this very transaction in order to avert the bad eggs in our society of today.
Please do contact him as soon as possible for more details, Here is his contact email and Direct Number;
Contact name: Dr. Raphael W. Bostic
Position: the 15th President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GA
Personal Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please do contact him now before is too late because the will forward your funds to the Federal Government account if they didn't hear from you, Thank you and Remain Blessed,
Hon. Miroslav Lajc?k
the United Nations General Assembly President