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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states 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)
- ",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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: MINISTRY OF FINANCE PAYMENT FUND <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2020 06:54:34 +0100
Subject: Change of Fund Transfer
We write to inform you that one Mr. Rodney Bradley of Dickinson, Texas
United states of America submitted an account to the central bank of
Nigeria and a copy to the Federal ministry of Finance (FMF) with a
sworn affidavit and power of attorney authorizing him to receive part
payment of US$5,000,000.00 your long overdue funds with Federal
Government of Nigeria. In the same affidavit, Mr. Rodney Bradley
stated that you have contacted Corona-virus Pandemic and died yesterday
nite at the (Cooley Dickinson Hospital) website:
His bank account details are as follows;
Bank name: US BANK
Address: 12901 Cabela Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76177, United States
Account no: 204890700107
Beneficiary: Mr. Rodney Bradley
Routing no: 021000545
Swift code: USBKUS441MT
We wish to know if you authorize Mr. Rodney Bradley to receive the
funds in the sum of Five Million United States Dollars on your behalf
However, if you do not authorize Mr. Rodney Bradley to receive the
funds on your behalf, kindly send us a disclaimer email
MRS ZAINAB AHMED
Urgent call +234 708 020 3548