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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- may contact your payment office for guidelines lawyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or bank: (email@example.com) eesti krediidipank (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FINCEN" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 08:29:59 -0800
Subject: Re: PENDING
Attention: FUNDS BENEFICIARY,
% EESTI KREDIIDIPANK BANK
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
SUBJECT: REMITTANCE OF FUNDS IN YOUR ONLINE EXCEEDING USD 10,000.00 (TEN THOUSAND
USD). WITHOUT COMMISSION CHARGES/CTR-FIN104) WHICH IS NOT DEDUCTABLE DUE TO HIGH
POLICY INSURANCE COVERAGE BOND ON YOUR TRANSFER 12,500,000.00.USD
FinCEN's mission is to enhance the integrity of financial systems by facilitating the
detection and deterrence of financial crime. Therefore, The Bank Secrecy Act and its
implementing regulations require financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction
Report (CTR fin104) on any transaction in currency of more than USD10,000.00. The
regulations in the Bank Secrecy Act also provide banks with the ability to exempt
certain customers from currency transaction reporting. The relevant section of this
Act states thus:
Banks may designate an otherwise eligible non-listed business customer or payroll
customers for exemption after the customer has within a year conducted five or more
reportable transactions in currency (previously, eight or more reportable transactions
Based on the foregoing, we are unable to ratify your request for the transfer of above
USD 10,000.00 with Bank Reference: 2012080300272635; Amount: 12,500,000.00 USD As we
can neither see any evidence of their current data with information or previous
filings of the CTR fin104 in our data base. The transfer is hereby put on hold until
the said evidence is provided. OR immediately the beneficiary should revert to us and
obtain same before final transfer confirmation as made to it's destination.
You are therefore advised to take the necessary actions through any of below as the
funds transfer signee to enable us ratify and release payment. For further information
on this subject matter, you may contact your payment office for guidelines Lawyer
(email@example.com) or Bank: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EESTI KREDIIDIPANK BANK. www.i-pankee-krediidi.eu
C. L. Ingram Jr.,
Monetary Transfers: 44 741 8397985 fincen-network.gov
U.S and North America: (Monday thru Friday. 8:30am . - 17:00 E.T.
EUROPE: ASIA AND MIDDLE EAST: AFRICA and OCEANIC