Avoiding 419 Scams

419 Scams are attempts at collecting fraudulent advanced fees and impersonation. You may receive a message from someone who claims to be an official or wealthy person from another country. They may ask you to participate in a venture that involves transferring money out of that foreign country. The attacker may ask you to send personal and financial information (such as bank account numbers) in order to “share” in the venture. You may also be asked to send money in multiple (and increasing) installments (with a promise of reimbursement). 

How to protect yourself

If you receive such an email or letter:

  1. Do not respond in any manner.

  2. Forward the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

  3. Report such scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

More information