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:
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: Federal Reserve Bank <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2019 05:38:34 -0600
Subject: Notification Of Your Compensation Funds 2019
US Federal Reserve Bank Corporate Office
33 Liberty St, New York, NY 10045,, USA
United States of America
8 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time(EDT)
Saturday and Sunday
8 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time(EDT)
Your payment files from three (3) different
Banks, Nat-west Bank of London, Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of
America was compiled and submitted to my desk this morning for review.
The total sum owed to you by the 3 Banks mentioned above was sum up to
the tune of US$15,500,000.00 (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars)now the fund has been totally lodged in one
particular Escrow account (non deductible) here in the Federal Reserve
Bank New York on your name, while waiting for accreditation to your
personal Bank Account in any part of the world, Meanwhile after due
scrutiny and verification, I confirmed that you have fulfilled all the
necessary obligations that will enable the release of your payment to
you, but yet your payment was not released to you due to one flimsy
excuses or the other from the Bank officials in charge of your payment,
because they had the intention of diverting your funds to their private
accounts in order to satisfy their selfish interest.
You are however lucky that we the management of the US Federal Reserve
Bank detected their evil plans and therefore call for the submission of
your payment file to us so we can personally handle the payment
assignment to ensure that you receive your funds accordingly, Now, all
modalities regarding your fund release has been put in place here in the
Reserve Bank of America, thus, your funds has been made ready for
transfer in our sophisticated macro transfer system, what we need from
you now is to provide to us the bank account of your choice which you
want us to transfer your funds so we can expedite action for the
accreditation of your funds into your account immediately.
Note: If you prefer to receive your funds in form of a Visa Card, we
could load and ship your Visa Card to your address which will permit you
a daily withdrawal limit of US$5,000 or write a Draft Cheque which can
be deposited in any Bank and send to you.
In anticipating for your urgent cooperation
Mr. Jerome H.Powell
Federal Reserve Bank York, NY 10045
Co-chief Operating Officer.