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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jerome H. Powell" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 22:14:33 +0100
Subject: Treat as Confidential..
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
I received a transfer instruction from the United Nations (UN) Bond with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ordering this office to pay 150 Victims of SCAM US$3,000,000.00 (Three Million United States Dollars ) each.
You are listed and have been approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount. However, we have received a notice of Change of Account from your representative Mr. Julius Fletcher yesterday. In respect to the account received from him, we wish to confirm with you before we transfer your compensation payment to the new account your representative provided.
Kindly confirm the below new bank account as valid and endorsed by you.
Bank; Bank of America
Address; 690 Adams Street Quincy Ma 02169 USA
A/C Number: 4666 0133 5222
Routing Number: 011000138
A\C Name: Julius Fletcher
The transfer will take place immediately you confirm the authenticity of the new bank account information.
Mr. Jerome H. Powell
Chairman Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)