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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Lavon E. Williamson" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 16:47:13 +0100
Subject: Good Morning
This is Lavon E. Williamson. I hereby notify you that the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York has informed me that it has agreed to release
your $10.7 million ransom value for compensation to fraud victims that
appears on its preview screen, but before they process, you deserved
to know that their receiver who is entitled to receive a fee for
setting up account with your name is not around, and that the Banks
implied that you should buy a gift card and send to me while I will
give them cash for your reference. However, the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York will open an account with you at their bank so they can
have access to transfer the total amount of your $10.7 million to your
personal bank account within the next 2 hours.
Get back to me so I will inform you the type of the Gift Card you
should buy while I will give the Bank cash and then submit your
I am waiting for you with the required details below:
Your full name......
Your States ...................
I, the Federal Reserve Bank assistance coordinator, must make sure
that you will receive your funds within 2 hours, once you comply with
my instructions given by the Federal Reserve Bank manager.
Cell phone (248) 220-3339
Lavon E. Williamson