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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Mario Tavernier <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 18:36:01 -0500
Subject: Transfer of your funds
This is my second email to you and I hope this email meets you in good health.
First let me introduce myself, I am Mario Tavernier, Head of Operations at the Automated Clearing House, Federal Reserve Bank New York. The Federal Reserve Bank New York settles $2 trillion daily through the Automated Clearing House for Real-Time Payments(RTP) and I have been authorized by the Board of Governors Federal Reserve System in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund to perfect all transactions of beneficiaries both foreign and domestic fund payment.
This email serves as notification that your representative (REMY BOUZARD) presented a Power of Attorney duly signed by you and authorizing the transfer of your funds to a different account in Switzerland but your signature is different from what we have on file. We are not sure you are aware and from my experience this could be an attempt to illegitimately divert your funds without your consent. Your confirmation is needed urgently before we proceed to execute the electronic transfer in your favor to the provided account. See details of account below:
Bank Name: UBS SWITZERLAND AG.
Account Holder: REMY BOUZARD
Bank account No.: 77718060
Amount: 22,500,000.00 USD only
Clearing: 0240 Bank SWIFT-BIC: UBSWCHZH80A
Iban: CH26 0024 0240 7771 8060G.
Affirm if you have authorized this transfer using the details mentioned above and reply with a confirmation message. However, if you have not authorized transfer of your funds to the Swiss account you should contact me immediately to correct this transaction and perfect all the necessary steps to secure the transfer in your favor. I will be handling the transfer of your funds henceforth for security reasons and you are advised to stop communication with any other official currently handling your payment.
Endeavor to provide your telephone number where I can reach you directly for more details.
Federal Reserve Bank