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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 00:48:17 -0000
Subject: how do you want to receive your fund?
Bank Of America.
100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte,
North Carolina, 28202 United States.
Payment Value: $36,500.000.00 USD
Our Ref NO: 002-BOA/0047/2022
You haven’t responded yet, I hope you received my previous
email to you? Please take few minutes of your time to read this
your quick response is urgently needed if you are
still alive and in control of this
your email to avoid releasing
your money to wrong person.
I am Mrs. Christine P. Katziff, the newly-sworn Chief Audit Executive
Of Bank Of America. You will get more information about me here:
On behalf of the entire staff of the Bank Of America and the US
Government in collaboration with IMF and CIA. We apologize for the
delay of your Outstanding Payments, Contract Payment, Winning or
Inheritance funds valued $36.5 Million Dollars from most of African
Countries and all the inconveniences you encountered while pursuing
this payment. However, from the records of Outstanding beneficiaries
due for payment with the Bank of America, your name was discovered as
next on the list of the outstanding payment who has not yet received
Meanwhile, after due scrutiny and verification, I confirmed that you
have fulfilled all the necessary obligations that will enable the
release of your payment to you, but yet your payment was not released
to you due to one flimsy excuses or the other from the Bank officials
in charge of your payment, because they had the intention of diverting
your funds to their private accounts in order to satisfy their selfish
I wish to inform you now that the square peg is now in square hole and
your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as
you respond to this letter. note that from the record in my file, your
outstanding contract payment is US$36,500,000.00 (Thirty Six Million
Five hundred thousand Dollars). Kindly re-confirm to me the
Your Full Name: ___
Your Full Contact Address: __
Your Mobile Telephone Number: ______
Working Identity /Passport: _____
Please do provide the above information accurately, because this
office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds
or liability of funds credited into an unknown account. As soon as the
above mentioned details are received, your payment will be made to you
immediately, you are advised to re-confirm to us your receiving bank
account details, where you want your fund to be remitted. We await
your swift response and also advise that if our directives are
followed carefully, you should have your fund in your account within
Mrs. Christine P. Katziff
Chief Audit Executive Officer,
Bank Of America Office®