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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Bank of America <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 07:18:49 -0600
Bank of America New York
From The Desk of: Paul M, Donofrio..
Vice Chairman on Investment.
This is to let you know that the World Bank and the United Nations
debt resolution unit have reopened our services to beneficiaries after
the first and second phases of the lock-down as a result of the
Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.We are aware that many beneficiaries must
have died as a result of the pandemic and therefore could not claim
their outstanding funds. Bank Of America has been appointed by World
Bank auditors to disburse the approved amount to unpaid beneficiaries
who are still alive. The amount of $3,500,000.00 has been approved by
the world bank auditors to be paid to each of the unpaid beneficiaries
as part payment for this fiscal year 2021, the remaining balance will
be paid this time in the next year 2022.
Therefore, we request your immediate response to this email to
indicate that you are alive and also to let us know if you are still
interested in receiving the partition. If you are still alive, please
reconfirm your personal details such as your full name, address,
telephone number and a form of government-issued identification. We
will start processing your payment after my confirmation of your
details. If you have ever lost or know a family that has lost a loved
one to Covid-19 or any other form of illness, extend my heartfelt
comfort to those families and strive to share with such families when
this transaction is completed.
NOTE: Please, if you are not interested in receiving this approved
fund, do not bother replying to this email. This is a golden
opportunity for you to receive at least part of your fund. Your prompt
response is highly needed in order for us to initiate this
Mr. Paul m, Donofrio