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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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: "Mr. Brian Moynihan" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 22:38:16 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,
Bank of America corporate center.
100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28255.USA
In our office today, was the presence of one Mr. Jim Chilong, your relation
of 122 Fitch Way, Sacramento, CA.USA 95864 filing application contrary to
your pending fund transfer currently in our custody. The above-mentioned
person visited this Bank yesterday with a power of attorney given in his
favor by your good self, granting him the benefit to process and claim your
inheritance payment of $32,000,000.00(Thirty Two Million United States
Dollars Only) for personal reasons. He further Stated that the funds should
be wired to the bank account details below as your currently sick and
unable to contact us directly.
Bank name: Bank Of America,
Account Number # 12908576457
Routing Number# 121000358.
Name: Mr. Jim Chilong
Address: 1347 FITCH WAY , SACRAMENTO, CA 95864-3030 USA.
Our management have ask Mr. Mr. Jim Chilong to return back to the Bank
within 48hours to enable us have a personal confirmation from you being
hitherto the beneficiary. We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in
giving out this fund since we must adhere to the modus operandi of this
honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the
beneficiary and his existing attorney.
Your confirmation to the above will be appreciated. We look forward to hear
from you soon.
Mr. Brian Moynihan
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.