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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mr. Alberto Max." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 15:57:26 -0300
Subject: Change of Account Particulars !
Re: Change of Account Particulars
I am writing to inform you that Mr. John T. Kehoe of 122 Fitch Way, Sacramento, CA.USA 95864, was in our office today to file an application contrary to the release of your pending fund transfer.
The above mentioned man visited our office with a power of attorney given in his favor, giving him the authority to process and claim the part payment of your funds valid at $3,500,000.00(Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) as approved by the paying bank. The power of attorney stated that your bank account details be Terminated while the fund should be wired to his account with the below details;
Bank : Bank Of America
Account Number : 12908576457
Routing Number: 121000358
Mr. John T. Kehoe was told to come back to the Bank in 48 hours to enable us have a personal confirmation from you being the original beneficiary since we must adhere to the modus operandi of this honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the original beneficiary (You) before taking any action on the matter.
Note: If you do not authorized the name person to claim your fund kindly respond with your complete details as stated below:
Your full names:
Your Phone number:
A copy of your identification, either drivers license or international passport
Your complete bank details:
Upon the receipt of your response I shall advice you accordingly but if I do not hear from you in the next 2 working days we shall go ahead to process the payment in his favor and release the said amount to him.
I am look forward to your swift response.
Mr. Alberto Max.
Reply email: email@example.com