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:
- 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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer of your funds" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "JEROME POWELL[FRB]" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:01:09 -0700
Subject: Notice of Anomaly]e
The Federal Reserve just received confirmation this morning that your inheritance funds($25millionusd) from Central Bank of Malaysia which was put on hold by the United States Treasury Department has just been released for transfer to your nominated account.
However,we received a certified payment instrument from the Office of Foreign Asset Control(OFAC) in your favor containing your personal details and a new receiving account in the name and favor of your financial representative and partner, Mr. Robert Brown claiming to have document signed by you prior to your demise for him to receive the funds($25millionusd)on your behalf.
Please kindly confirm if the account information are correct to receive the funds,
Bank Name: U.S Bank Trust, N.A, MN;
Swift Code: USBKUS4TCOR;
Routing #: 121122676;
Account Number: 153459581457;
Account Beneficiary Name: Robert Brown;
Beneficiary Address: 5021 Laguna Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95758.
As a matter of fact,the has made commitment to pay the $2,500usd cost of transfer(C.O.T) this week to complete the transfer of the funds.
Please if you are alive,respond so that we can stop this man,your long silence has allowed the bank to believe you are indeed dead but i am sure you are alive and well,please don't loose this opportunity to get your funds.
Ensure to confirm your information to the Federal Reserve for onward transfer of your funds($25millionusd) immediately at my private email below.
Contact person:Mr Jerome Powell
Its important to state that our devotion and obligation remains to facilitate quick transfer of your funds so we will appreciate your affirmative response.
Mr Jerome Powell
Under-secretary Financial Surveillance