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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Paul Donofrio" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 11:53:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Requested Reply
Bank of America New York Head Office of (Paying Bank)
This is to let you know that the World Bank Swiss/ United Nations
monetary unit has reopened our services to beneficiaries after the
Given this development, we are fully aware that many beneficiaries may
have died as a result of the pandemic and therefore could not claim
their pending funds.
Bank Of America was appointed by the office of World bank auditors to
make such payments to the concerned beneficiaries. And the sum of USD
5,400,000.00 has been approved by world bank auditors to be paid to
each beneficiary concerned out of his/her total fund as part payment.
We, therefore, want you to get back to us if you are still alive by
forwarding your full details such as
1- Your full names
3- Phone Number
4- Any means of identification.
The only thing we will do is to re-validate your file so that it will
become more authentic and be among the list of files that will be on
our pay list.
NOTE: Please, if you are not interested in receiving this approved
fund, you may not bother to contact us back.
This is a golden opportunity for you to receive your fund. Thanks for
your anticipated cooperation.
Your immediate response is highly needed to enable us to commence the transfer.
Paul m, Donofrio