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:
- "million us 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Michael D. White" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 21:25:41 +0100
Subject: BANK OF AMERICA
My name is Mr. Michael D. White. Directors and Boards Bank of America
in my country. Here in this bank existed a dormant account
which belong to one of our late foreign customers. The amount
in this account values at $30,000.00 (Thirty Million US Dollars).
The bank wants to confiscate this fund according
to the ethics of our bank,because it has overstayed.
I seek your consent to partner with you in this business transaction.
I want a foreign account where the bank will transfer this fund. This
is a genuine, risk free and legal business transaction. All details
shall be sent to you once you indicate your interest.
Please I would like you to keep this business as a top secret or
delete it from your mailbox, if you are not interested. But if you are
interested and really sure of your sincerity, trustworthiness,
accountability and confidentiality over this transaction, reply back
to me urgently.
please Send your contact details below,
our Full Name...
Your full bank account information...
Your full address...
Your Direct phone number...
Your ID CARD...
Mr. Michael D. White
Directors and Boards Bank of America