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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Federal Reserve Bank" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2021 04:32:06 -0800
Subject: Ref: Fund Final Payment Resolution 194
Federal Reserve Bank New York
33, Liberty Street, New York, NY 10038 USA
Ref.: Final Payment Release Update
Amount Valued: US$10, 500, 000.00
Ref: Fund Final Payment Resolution:
I am obliged to update you of the meeting held on 27th, January 2020 between the US Department of the Homeland Security, The Central Intelligence Agency, the International Monetary Fund and other concerned monetary agencies regarding your fund valued $10.5m which was returned to the government treasury account due to your inability of fulfilling the required financial obligations for receiving the payment.
After going through your payment files, I have come to understand the inconvenience and financial commitments you have invested so far for the pursuit of this fund which was all to no avail.However, considering your efforts towards achieving this aim, we have come to maintain equity, justice and fairness in our dealings with beneficiaries such as yours, hence we have insisted that your funds should be reversed from the government treasury and be released to you accordingly.
So on this note, we have immediately secured an approval for payment on your behalf and have processed your fund release to this effect. However, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have decided and agreed together to send this payment to you by either bank wire transfer or by ATM Debit Card system depending on the option you would prefer to receive this fund for security purpose, so you are therefore advised to quickly get back to the management of this bank and let us know the option that will suit your banking needs to enable us facilitate the smooth release of your payment.
You are hereby requested to re-confirm the following details stated below for verification purpose, so that your fund value of US$10.5 Million United State dollars will be release and paid to you through your chosen mode
1) Your full Name / Your Full Address:
2) Your Phones, Fax and Mobile No:
3) Profession / Age:
4) Copy of any valid form of your Identification
Thanks in anticipation of your co-operation
Director Remittance Department,
Federal Reserve Bank of New York