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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "clearance document" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Ferdinand Kimball <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 02:10:32 -0700
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION
Hello Good day.
This message was prompted by the financial issues facing most
countries involved at G20 SUMMIT 2020 and it has been brought to the
notice of the senate to ensure the bill is passed and approved for the
all beneficiaries to access their funds.
What is the problem, why have you practically refused to receive your
funds. We are doing a review of all the funds that has not been
claimed and discovered that you have not receive your funds. What is
the problem? Let us know if there is anyway we can assist so that your
funds will be transferred into your account now that senate has
confirmed the new Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, she is planning to
issue order for the harmonization of all unclaimed funds from the
FinCEN and the Federal Reserve Bank, we do not want you to fall victim
of loosing your funds because of some little misunderstanding which
would not do anyone any good.
You have a pending transfer value of USD$6.5Million Dollars in your
name, awaiting Clearance from the FinCEN, Miss Janet Yellen of the
Department of Treasury has authorized the Financial Crimes Enforcement
Network(FinCEN) to release your funds into your account. The Federal
Reserve Bank requires copy of your Legal Clearance Document and the
Patriot Act Certification Document. You should get back to us if you
do not have the documents so that we will issue you the Legal
Clearance Document through the Legal Bureau of the Department of
Treasury for further release of your fund into your account.
You are required to reconfirm the above fee as our records states that
you have a pending funds value of USD$6.5Million Dollars and we will
authorize the Federal Reserve Bank to release your funds as soon as we
receive a response from you, along with your full contact information
and your bank account details to enable us cross check with our
records to ascertain the authenticity of your claims as the rightful
owner/beneficiary of the funds.
You are advise to strictly contact me directly so that I will make
sure that your funds is released into your account without further
delay. Let us know what is still holding you from receiving your funds
and if there is anything we will do, then we do it fast now that the
senate has confirmed Janet Yellen as the new TREASURY SECRETARY of the
Acting Director of Operation
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network(FinCEN)
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 950 20530-0001
Washington DC, United States of America