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)
- 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 NEW YORK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:20:43 +0000
Subject: Re: Attn:Transaction Transfer Update 2017!!!
From The Desk of: Paul M, Donofrio...
Bank of America.
Branch Offices New York
1680 Broadway, New York.
NY 10019, USA.
Vice Chairman on Investment Banking
Director, Credit Control Dept.
Attention: Customer Your Fund Transfer $18.5MILLION,
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$18.5Million into your bank
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
These are the information we needed to be reconfirmed by you.
1.Your full name
2.Your Direct Cell
Mr. Paul M, Donofrio