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:
- "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: "David Bickell," (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 03:25:03 -0700
Subject: ATTN: Beneficiary
I hope this correspondence is received with the urgency and expediency required.
I am David Bickell, the Senior Associate Director, Fedwire Funds Service of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York currently assigned to your payment.
We observed a Power of Attorney in your file granting one REMY BOUZARD the authority to act as your representative and a new bank account was tendered for the wire transfer of $22.5Million
to Switzerland. But after reviewing the Power of Attorney we noticed an irregular signature from what's on file.
This can only be an illegal attempt to divert your fund's to the below account in Switzerland without your authorization. Kindly confirm
Bank Name: Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS AG)
Address: Bahnhofstrasse 45 Z?rich, Switzerland 8001
Account Holder: REMY BOUZARD
Bank Account No.: 010*****3721
SWIFT Code: UBSWCHZHXXX
Did you authorize REMY BOUZARD to claim funds on your behalf? If you have not authorized anyone to act under the Power of Attorney, then you should get back to me immediately for this to be corrected otherwise we will proceed based on the authority. Confirmation is needed from you concerning this transaction as we have been given the mandate to transfer funds in your favor.
I hope at least you'll reply promptly with the necessary information concerning this matter. I will be waiting for your response
Senior Associate Director
Fedwire Funds Service