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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "JEROME H. POWELL" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2020 12:22:31 -0800
Subject: DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN??????
This is to inform you that we have finally received your unpaid delayed contract payment which
was transferred from the United Nations (UN).
Also note that from the record in my file, the total amount confirmed is $8,000,000.00 USD.
However, we have received a notice of Change of Account from your representative Mr. Julius Fletcher
yesterday. In respect to the account received from him, we wish to confirm with you before we
proceed with the transfer of your contract fund to the new account he provided.
Kindly confirm the below new bank account as valid and endorsed by you for the
transfer of your unpaid contract fund.
Bank; Bank of America
Address; 690 Adams Street Quincy Ma 02169 USA
A/C Number: 4666 0133 5222
Routing Number: 011000138
A\C Name: Julius Fletcher
The transfer will take place immediately you confirm the authenticity of the new bank account
information provided by Mr. Julius Fletcher.
I demand an urgent response from you to enable us to proceed with the transfer.
Mr. Jerome H. Powell
Chairman Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)