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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: BANK OF AMERICA <"WWW."@vesta.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: BANK OF AMERICA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2017 19:22:57 +0900 (JST)
Subject: make this payment or stop contacting us.
Bank of America Corporate Office Headquarters
100 N.Tryon St Charlotte,NC 28255
United States of America
8 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time(EDT)
Saturday and Sunday
8 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time(EDT)
make this payment or stop contacting us.
The Management of the Bank of America Corporate Office Headquarters here in 100 N.Tryon St Charlotte,NC 28255 wishes to inform you that after a brief meeting
held by the Bank executives yesterday,the 6TH of march, 2016 at precisely 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time(EDT), we deem it appropriate to intimate you that your funds will be transferred into the United States Treasury Account with the JP Morgan Chase Headquarters at 270 Park Avenue in New York according to the record we got from Africa due to your inability to complete the transaction and your failure to meet up with a minor payment obligation.The actual transfer of your funds( $20,500,000.00) into the government account comes up next week.
This is in line with the instructions of the USA Treasurer,Mrs.Rosa Gumataotao Rios that all unclaimed funds be paid into the United States Government Treasury Account as unserviceable funds in compliance to section 3 subsection 1(a) of the United States Financial Law enacted in 2001 after an attack on our dear country on September 11,2001.
Find below the profile of the banking institution where your funds will be transferred into following the government directive:, And note to responds to us with below Email (email@example.com)
Name of Bank: JP Morgan Chase Headquarters at 270 Park Avenue in New York. JP Morgan Chase Official Bankers for the United States Treasury Department
AC NO: 68302345093
United States Treasury Department,USA
Note that if you still wish to receive your funds do get back to us immediately so that we will remove your funds transfer from the list of those transactions to be seized by the United States Government.Also be informed that we need only a DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY SEAL OF TRANSFER(DIST) to complete the wire transfer.The fee to obtain the SEAL was reduced from$7000 to $300 and no other fee is involved.
You are required to send the fee of $300 via MONEY GRAM to the issuing officer at the bank where your transaction originated as stated below:
Receivers Name.....OBI UDE
AMOUNT to send......$300
Email the following: To ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
MTCN or REFERENCE Number
The name of the city from where the money was sent
If we receive the MTCN today,we will transfer your funds ($20,500,000.00) before we close office and the funds will reflect 3 hours after the transfer.We will send you all `qthe transfer documents to enable you start making cash withdrawals from your account same day the funds are transferred.We have waited for so long and we cannot continue to wait.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your banking needs.
Bank of AmericaÂ®
Corporate Office Headquarters,Charlotte,N.C.
Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Â© 2011 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.