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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Citizens Bank" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 12:55:43 -0700
Subject: FROM Looney, Michael W

Greetings and how are you doing today. I hope all is well with you.

I am Looney, Michael W of Citizens Bank. It is notable to inform you that we The Citizens Bank has received a credit advice from António Guterres, The Secretary-General of the United Nations and Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, The Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, International Monetary Fund (IMF) with instructions that we commence the immediate processing and transfer of your Grant Allocation Benefits Award valued US$15,000,000.

Reconfirm the below information for further information:

1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Identification:
5. Occupation:

I await your reply soon.


Looney, Michael W
Citizens Bank.
(917) 633-7770

Anti-fraud resources: