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 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: "Christopher Wray" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 18:04:25 -0700
Subject: TRANSACTION CODE: CITI-97**.
CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY.
DIRECTOR " FBI".
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol Agency.
The (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with some other relevant
investigation agencies here in the United States of America have
recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring
network that you have an over-due payment in tune of USD$5,500,000.00
with Citibank N.A.
It might interest you to know that we have taken our time in screening
through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have
finally confirmed that your payment with Citibank is 100%
genuine and hitch free from all facets and of which you have the lawful
right to claim your fund without any further delay. Having said all
this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with
N.A accordingly as we will be monitoring all activities
between regarding this transaction at all levels.
NOTE: You are required to contact the remittance director Citibank
Pasadena, CA and forward this email sent to you from our office as a
proof to this regard and to help the bank acknowledge our efforts in
passing this message to you. Kindly contact the remittance director with
the below informations:
Bank Name: Citibank.
Department Code: 77CTB098.
Address: 161 W California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA.
Attn: Phillip Newman
Contact the bank today and forward this message to them with the code
below initiate your transaction accordingly.
(TRANSACTION CODE: CITI-9701)
Thank you and have a lovely day.
Christopher A. Wray.
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.
Important Notice: This message (including any attachments) is intended
only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed
and may contain information that is non-public, proprietary, privileged,
confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law or may
constitute attorney work product. If you are not the intended recipient,
you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or
copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have
received this communication in error, (i) destroy this message if a
facsimile or (ii) delete this message immediately if this is an
electronic communication. Thank you.