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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "international remittance department" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Donald Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 23:11:57 -0800
Subject: It's Urgent
From The Desk Of Bank of America,
1890 Epps Bridge Pkwy, Athens, GA 30606 U.S.
Unclaimed Asset/Assets Re-united.
USA International Remittance Department.
Tel: +1(404) 596-5755
This is to inform you that a compensation payment in the amount of
US$10,700,000.00, (Ten Million Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
was legally approved and deposited few days ago with our Bank, Bank of America.
Branch Office here in 1890 Epps Bridge Pkwy, Athens, GA 30606 U.S, and it
was deposited in your name by the foreign debts settlement/compensation
committee of the Executive Directors Of World Bank Group in conjunction with
European Union Board Of Directors, and they instructed us to credit
this fund direct
to your private bank account with immediate effect. Meanwhile, the good news
about your fund now is that your compensation payment file with some
of the legal
documents backing this fund has been forwarded to the US Department of State and
the United Nations for final approval. And we shall proceed with the transfer
immediately we hear from you because we were mandated to transfer this fund to
you as one of the beneficiary whose the name is listed in the World Bank foreign
debts settlement/compensation payment file.
However, Please note that Bank of America have decided and agreed together
to send this payment to you by either bank wire transfer or by online bank
transfer services depending the option you would prefer to receive this
fund for security purpose. so you are therefore advised to quickly get
back to the
management of this bank and let us know the option you choose to have your fund
credited into your account to enable us proceed with the claim process
of your fund.
We wait your immediate response with your information below to enable this bank
proceeds immediately with the transfer of your fund as we were directed.
Valid Phone number............?
Any Of Your Identity Card........?
Kindly get back to us by reconfirming your full information.
Thank you, God Bless America.
Mr. Donald Johnson,
Director Of Foreign Remittance Department.
Bank of America?