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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Brian Moynihan" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2022 01:10:09 +0200
Subject: From Bank of America (BOA)
From the office of the Chairman
Bank of America (BOA)
Address: 901 Main St, Dallas, TX 75202,
This official letter is to inform you that (Mr. Shen Hu John ) was in our office as your legal representative to claim your approved fund valued $10,200,000:00 (Ten Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) from this bank. Mr. shen Hu John),
advised the management of this bank to transfer your approved fund valued $10,200,000:00 into his personal bank account
Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank
Bank Address: 540 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022, United State
Bank Account Number: 85426091322
Bank Routing Number: 705643185
Bank Swift Code: WFBIUS6SXXX
Bank Account Name: Mr. Shen Hu John.
The above-mentioned person (Mr. Shen Hu John ) said that you authorized him to help you and claim your due fund from this bank as your legal representative. Youre advice to confirm if we should proceed with the final release of your approved fund valued $10,200,000.00 into (Mr. Shen Hu John) above bank account. We hereby anticipate your swift response.
Banking with Bank of America (BOA) certainly opens several doors for you. Thank you for banking with us.
Mr. Brian Moynihan
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer - Bank of America (BOA)