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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "cashiers check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. BRIAN T. MOYNIHAN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 10:33:11 -1200
Subject: ATTENTION DEAR EMAIL OWNER
WELCOME TO BANK OF AMERICA HEADQUARTERS.
ADDRESS: 1001 NORTH TRYON STREET CHARLOTTE, NC 28255-0001 U.S.A,
Your total SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUNDS
is available to be delivered to you as soon as we hear back from you
with your contact
details, Your cell phone number is required, funds amount is
$486Million USD, We have received a mandate and instructions from the
(OFAC) U.S Treasury Department to commence the immediate release of
your funds through one of the following payment options stated below
depending on your choice.
1. Payment via Automatic Teller Machine (ATM card) This is where you
will be sent an Automatic Teller Machine card with Pin also known as
ATM card (ATM Visa Card would be issued). Upon receipt of your custom
ATM card you will be allowed to withdraw $90,000 per day by default
and you are given the option to transfer funds from your ATM card to
your bank account.
2. Certified Cashiers Check or Bank Draft, In this case you will be
sent a certified bank draft or check signed in your favor which you
will deposit in any bank for it to be cleared within 3 working days at
most depending on your bank.
3. Online Banking ( Bank To Bank Transfer) This option will enable you
process this transfer that will enable you get access to your account
Online and transfer your funds to your personal bank account of your
GET BACK TO US WITH THE BELOW DETAILS
1. Your Full Name which you prefer we use when shipping your funds.........
2. Your Current mailing (Delivery) Address where your fund should be
3. Your Private Mobile Number for the Priority Express Mail to Contact you
when they arrive at your door step......
4. Your Whatsapp Number.....
5. Your private Email address .....
6. Your other Email address...........
7. Your Next of kin Email address.....
8. Your next of Kin Phone Number......
11. Valid ID Card......
Thanks for banking with us
I await your urgent response.
MR. BRIAN T. MOYNIHAN,
CHAIRMAN,PRESIDENT AND CEO
BANK OF AMERICA HEADQUARTERS