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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international court of justice" (not involved with lotteries)
- 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: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 01:27:12 +0100
Subject: From Paul M. Donofrio, CFO Bank of America
BANK OF AMERICA
100 North Tryon Street,
Charlotte, NC 28255, U.S.A.
Swift Code: BOFAUS3N
BATCH NO.: US-NC/3000829
This is to inform you that your Contract Inheritance fund has been
approved for payment into your bank account as we have been directed
by the Bank for International Settlement and International Court of
Justice to release your fund as a result of the high level of fraud in
some of the African Countries and also to protect your interest as
Your fund has been approved for payment and you are instructed to stop
any communications with any Bank or government Agency in Europe, Asia
or African Countries henceforth and direct your communication to this
bank, because those Banks or government Agency no longer have access
to your fund.
Right now, your fund is with us and not with any other bank in Europe,
Asia or Africa, so we implore you to re-confirm the below details to
us for payment.
Your Name, Address
Cell Phone, Home/Office Phone, Fax Number
Company Name, Position
Marital Status, Sex
Bank Details (Bank Name & Address, Swift Code, Account No. & Name)
Any Means of identification
Lastly, this transaction needs your utmost attention, because we will
not entertain any form of illegal approach from you or any self claim
We Bank in your Response.
Yours in service,
Paul M. Donofrio
Chief Financial Officer