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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "VERIFIED PAYMENTS OFFICE" < <">"@server.domain.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2019 10:48:31 +0100
Subject: RE; YOUR PAYMENT IS VERIFIED and READY
Dear Verified Payment Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that the Federal Reserve Bank USA have been officially authorized and mandated as the Custodian of all unpaid and verified funds. All funds not yet paid to beneficiaries are now deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank USA for processing and instant payment to the respective beneficiaries after due verification of the beneficiary details. The Federal Reserve Bank is to carry out these payments with 371 designated International Banks and Financial Houses to ensure that all unpaid Contract Funds, unpaid Loans and Investment Funds, unpaid Inheritance Funds, unpaid Lottery/Lotto Funds and all abandoned consignment funds and Debit Card Payments which have been abandoned at the various airports around the World, security vaults and safe deposit vaults will be duly paid to the respective beneficiaries whose details have been official verified and confirmed to receive their payments without any COST to the beneficiary nor delay.
Your payment is ready as approved, Send in your details for verification and payment release to you.
Your full names, contact address, cell/mobile phone number, age and sex.
Reply with the above details for verification and payment.
Federal Reserve Bank Payment Committee
Federal Reserve Bank USA