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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "fbi washington" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real FBI will not tell you to contact some email address. If you are in any doubt, contact an FBI field office via www.fbi.gov. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FBI.OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2021 10:58:55 +0100
Subject: Federal Bureau Of Investigation FBI. Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation FBI. Washington, D.C.
601,4th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.
We want to notify you that the FBI Washington DC in conjunction with other relevant 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 tone of ten million, three hundred thousand US dollars (USD10.3Million) in Federal reserve bank. This was as a result of cash disbursed by the United Nations as a form of an inheritance funds which only few lucky people would benefit from this exercise. We have done a random email selection and you happen to be among the lucky individuals to benefit from the exercise this year. You are advice to contact Federal Reserve bank immediately so they would begin with the transfer
You are to contact Mr. Jerome H. Powell who happens to be a member of the federal reserve board via the email address below.
Contact the bank today and furnish them with these information below:
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER: