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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "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. )
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: Bank of =?utf-8?Q?America=C2=AE?= <"shiokuni.."@eagle.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Bank of =?utf-8?Q?America=C2=AE?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 10:17:12 +0900 (JST)
Subject: CONTACT THE BANK OF AMERICA IMMEDIATELY.
Bank of America Corporate Office
Headquarters 1100 Mohawk St Utica, NY 13501
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)
The Management of the Bank of America Corporate Office Headquarters here in 1100 Mohawk St Utica, NY 13501 wishes to inform you that after a brief meeting held by the Bank executives yesterday, 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 United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) 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 which is five million eight hundred thousand ($5.800, 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 are to be paid into the United States Government Treasury Account as unserviceable funds in compliance to section 3 sub-sections 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: 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
Account Name: United States Treasury Department, USA
AC NO: 68302345093
Routing NO: 021109593
NB: Do contact us immediately via email@example.com or contact me on my personal mobile number +1 (615) 560-1216, if you still wish to receive your funds so that we will remove your fund transfer file from the list of those transactions to be seized by the United States Government.
Also be informed that we need a fund transfer ACCESS CODE to complete the wire transfer to your bank account.
The fee to obtain the access code was initially $600 USD but has been reduced to $99 USD and no other fee is involved. You are required to send the noted fee of $99 USD by WESTERN UNION or MONEY GRAM to one of the issuing countries where your money originated. We shall give you guidelines on how to send the fee to them over there once we receive your feedback.
Thank you for giving us the great opportunity to serve your banking needs.
Mr. Bright Smith
Bank of AmericaÂ®
+1 (615) 560-1216
Corporate Office Headquarters, 1100 Mohawk St Utica, NY 13501.
Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Â© 2017 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.