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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: John Williams <>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2021 00:12:55 -0800
Subject: Treat with urgency

From the Desk of Mr. John P. Williams:
Federal Reserve Bank / Headquarter: New York, NY, the United States of
America: Founded: 1914, New York City, New York, United States:
ADDRESS: 33 Liberty St New York, NY 10045-0001:

Attention Dear,

My Name is Mr. John P. Williams the Chairman Federal Reserve Board New
York right now,
We want to inform you that we have sent you this email notification
regarding the final release order of your approval payment files from
(4) different banks, Nat West Bank of London, BANK OF AMERICA, UBA
BANK NIGERIA and UBA Bank Nigeria has compiled and submitted it to my
desk this month for review. The total sum owed to you by the 4 banks
mentioned above was sum up to the tune of US$2,000,000,000.00 (Two
Billion United State Dollars)
This is third time we have sent you this email notification regarding
the final release order of your approval payment files from (4)
different banks, your payment files from (4) different banks, Nat West
Bank of London, BANK OF AMERICA, UBA Bank Nigeria.
Now the fund has been totally lodged in one particular Escrow account
(non-deductible) here in FEDERAL RESERVE BANK New York City on your
name, while waiting for accreditation to your personal bank account in
any part of the world for the quick transfer.
Meanwhile, after due scrutiny and verification, I confirmed that you
have fulfilled all the necessary obligations that will enable the
release of your payment US$2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion United State
Dollars) to you, but yet your payment was not released to you due to
one flimsy excuses or the other from the Bank officials in charge of
your payment, because they had the intention of diverting your funds
to their private accounts in order to satisfy their interest.
Secondly, the only money you will pay for the transfer to take place
is just $100 being the approval payment certification from the
government of The UK and you are giving a limited time to send the
payment and please be advised that you are to send the payment to
American Embassy office in the UK and you are to use Steam Wallet gift
card or iTunes card to send the $100 and please be informed that you
are not going to pay any other payment to anybody and do not be
deceived by anybody to send any other payment.
As soon as the Payment information is received, your funds will be
wired to your bank account directly from Federal Reserve Bank New York
U.S.A. otherwise, we shall proceed to issue all payments details to
Mrs. Annette Stillman if we do not hear from you within the next two
working days from today.
Note: If you would prefer to receive your funds in the form of an ATM
CARD, then we could load your funds into an ATM CARD and ship your
Card to your address which will permit you to withdraw US$10,000 USD
three times daily.

Treat with urgency,

And get back to us now with this email

Yours in Service,
Mr. John P. Williams
president and chief executive officer Federal Reserve Board New York.

Anti-fraud resources: