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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "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)
- 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 H. Powell" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 11:52:51 -0700
Subject: RE-BE OFFICIALLY INFORMED TODAY.
I am Jerome H. Powell present Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.
You will get more information about this from here. i MR Jerome H. Powell took the oath of office as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, succeeding Mrs Janet L. Yellen. On Feb 5, 2018.I have to complete the rest of other pending projects including compensation, unpaid contract and release of upaid funds. ETC.
I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/corporations with respect to local and overseas contract payment,debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment. This is to make sure all outstanding payments are settled before the end of the fiscal year 2019.
You have been approved to receive your outstanding funds valued at $4,700,000.00 (Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only). Your funds will be transferred to your nominated bank account or your preferred payment option either by Certified Bank Check or an ATM MasterCard issued and delivered to you.
You are advised to kindly reply this email through our corresponing officer ( email@example.com ) and submit the requested details below to help us process your payment;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Current Phone Number:
(5) Country of Residence:
Note that you will only have to pay $180usd for the processing of your file and that is only what it will cost you, none deductible from the main fund.
Thanks for your co-operation as I wait to hear from you.
Jerome H. Powell
Federal Reserve Bank.