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 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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 20:02:44 +0800
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY!!
Are you alive or dead? We received several emails from one Mr. Frank Harold
who narrated to us about the auto car accident you had 2 weeks ago. Mr.
Frank made us to understand that you are in hospital for treatment but
there is no hope of your recovery. He stated that he is your business
associates and your next of kin whom you have chosen and permitted to
inherit all your properties. He is contacting this office base on your
contract /Inheritance payment fund valid USD 28,800,000.00(twenty eight
million, eight hundred thousand dollars only)which is about to be pay to
you. He requested that the payment should now be transfer into his own
personal account as he stated below.
Account Name Mr. Frank Harold
Citibank Banamex USA
2029 Century Park East Los Angeles, CA 90067
Routing Number: 122233645
Account Number: 5944130210
We request your confirmation before we can process this transfer to Mr.
Frank Bank Account. This is to avoid releasing your money to wrong person
because Mr. Frank is too eager and ready to follow every instruction to
have this money into his account. If you did not have auto accident and you
did not permit Mr. Frank to claim your money, kindly reply this message
with your full contact information so we can process the release of the
28.8 million united states dollars to you.
Christopher. A Wray
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535