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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 23:29:23 +0100
Subject: RE: Bank Of America Changing Life For The Better
From The Desk of: Dr Charles Holliday Jr..
Bank of America.
Branch Offices New York
1680 Broadway, New York.
NY 10019, USA.
Vice Chairman on Investment Banking
Director, Credit Control Dept.
We are hereby officially notify you concerning your fund telegraphic
Transfer through our bank, Bank of America, New York, to your bank
account, which has been officially approved by the management of World
Bank Swiss (WBS) to credit the sum of US$18.5 (Million) into your bank
Note that I have started processing your payment and every thing
concerning the immediate remittance of your funds will be carried out
within the shortest possible time from the time we received your? Below
Also be informed that the Governor of Bank in London (BL) will sign on
your payment advice and a copy of the advice will be sent to the World
Bank in Swiss for some record purposes. Meanwhile your information and
your full contact details were received from our research manager,
Barr.Paul Peterson on your behalf to FRB for immediate release of your
This fund was part of the lodged Late President Saddam Hussein of Iraq
discovery fund with World Bank of Switzerland, which the Swiss Bank has
decided to distribute it generously to help few lucky individuals and
the American Government is in agreement with the Swiss Bank to
distribute the fund to 700 hundred thousand people in America, Europe &
Asia in other to help improve their businesses.
Therefore, reconfirm the aforesaid information accurately, because this
office cannot afford to be held liable for any wrong transfer of funds
or liable of any fund credited into an unknown account.
These are the information we needed to be reconfirmed by you.
1.Your Direct Cell or office phone to reach you
2.Your address of locations
3.Your full name
Finally, you are required to reconfirm directly to me the above
information to enable me use it to process your bill of payment.
Your quick response shall be mostly appreciated; all your response
should be directed through our alternative email address for the
immediate attention of the credit control department.
Dr Charles Holliday Jr..