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:
- "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)
- 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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hon. Raymond Steve" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 13:52:02 +0100
Subject: Attention; Fund Beneficiary
CITIBANK OF AMERICA.
100 CITIBANK DRIVE,
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78245 USA.
Tel:+1 (808) 400-0346
CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY
This is very urgent and urgent attention is needed.
In our office today, was the presence of one Mr. John T. Kehoe of 1200
Fitch Way, Sacramento, Ca. 95864 filing application contrary to your
pending fund transfer. The above-mentioned people visited this Bank
yesterday with a power of attorney given in his favor by your good
self, granting him the benefit to process and claim your
US$5,000,000.00(Five Million United States Dollars Only) for personal
He further Stated that the online account be Terminated while the fund
should be wired to his Bank account with Bank Of America, Routing
Number 121000358. Our office has asked Mr. John T. Kehoe to return
back within 48 hours to enable us to have a personal confirmation from
you being hitherto the beneficiary.
1. Did you instruct Mr. John T. Kehoe of 1200 Fitch Way, Sacramento,
Ca. 95864, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in his favor thereby making
him the current beneficiary?
If you did, well, we are sorry to have delayed your instruction in
giving out this fund since we must adhere to the procedures of this
honorable bank by making sure
this request is verified and confirmed by the beneficiary.
Your quick reply via this alternative email will be appreciated:
Hon. Raymond Steve.
Reply to: email@example.com
Call me: +1 (808) 400-0346