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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Citizens Bank New York <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 04:55:56 +0100
Subject: Attention The Beneficiary
Good Day The Beneficiary,
This is Mr.Robert G.Leary.The Chief Financial Officer and Director of
Transfer Department Monitoring the Covid-19 Compensation Fund's in
Citizens Bank of New York.I Am contacting you to know the reason why
you have not received your Covid-19 Compensation funds of $4.5 Million
Dollars which have been Approved to you as one of the lucky
beneficiary through the assistance of World Bank in Switzerland in
conjunction with the United States Government in Washington DC.
Please if you have not yet received your own Compensation fund's from
our other Branch office in United Kingdom and south Africa, we will
like you to kindly reply to us urgent with your Full Name:Current
Address:Your Direct Phone Number.
This is very urgent as we have only few days to transfer the fund to you.
Reply with those information as needed.
Mr.Robert G. Leary
Chief Financial Officer
Citizens Bank of New York