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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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: "MR. JEROME POWELL" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 22:40:05 -0700
Subject: MR. JEROME POWELL
From the Desk of MR. JEROME POWELL DIRECTOR
Federal Reserve Bank/Headquarter :New York, NY, United States of
America: Founded: 1914, New York City, New York, United States:
ADDRESS: 33 Liberty St New York, NY 10045-0001:
PHONE NUMBER +1(332)3336980)
I am MR. JEROME POWELL DIRECTOR Federal Reserve Bank USA: Your
payment files from three (3) different banks, Nat west Bank of London,
European Central Bank(ECB) and Bank of America were compiled and
submitted to my desk last week for review. The total sum owed to you
by the 3 banks mentioned above was sum up to the tune of
US$12,500,000.00 (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Now the fund has been totally lodged in one particular Escrow account
(non deductible) here in the Federal Reserve Bank New York on your
name, while waiting for accreditation to your personal bank account in
any part of the world. Meanwhile, after due scrutiny and verification,
I confirmed that you have fulfilled all the necessary obligations that
will enable the release of your payment to you, but yet your payment
was not released to you due to one flimsy excuses or the other from
the Bank officials in charge of your payment, because they had the
intention of diverting your funds to their private accounts in order
to satisfy their selfish interest. Therefore there has been an
instruction from the Supreme Court USA for your fund to be released to
you with immediate effect
Below are the information needed for now for you to receive your fund
1. Personal Details: