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:
- "million us 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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jerome Powell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2020 00:57:16 -0800
Subject: YOUR QUICK RESPONSE SHALL BE MOST APPRECIATED
Based on the meeting we have with United Nations and IMF officials on
your payment, I writing to inform you that your files appeared on our
desk to pay you a partial payment of $10.5million US Dollars of your
funds for this First quarter of the year.
I Mr. Jerome Powell The New Chairman Director Federal Reserve Bank, I
am here to release your fund that is on hold, based on our last
meeting, again United Nation and United State of America Government
pointed me that I Mr. Jerome Powell The New Chairman Director Federal
Reserve Bank should make sure all beneficiaries receive their fund as
we concluded on the meeting, I also promise them that I will try my
That is why the authority's instructed me to contact you for you to
know about this and follow instructions.
We wait to hear from you soon.
Don't keep me waiting for your own good, again if you are ready to
receive your fund get back to me and inform me that you are ready, and
re-confirm your information, but if you are not interested about your
fund please don't email me.
Mr. Jerome Powell The New
Chairman Director Federal Reserve Bank.