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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 ( BOA )" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 05:28:25 -0700
Subject: Bank of America Financial center.
Bank of America Financial center
Address: 1381 Weston Rd, Weston, FL 33326, United States
Bank Telephone Number: +13312347273
Bank eMail: email@example.com
Greetings from the Bank of America ( BOA ). I have vital information which needs to be attended to immediately. Meanwhile, Did you authorize anyone to claim your inheritance fund?
Please note that Mr. Andrew Cox came to our office today in-respect of
your $8.6 million USD dollars which has been credited with us for the past one year now by the U.S. federal government to be transferred into your account.
He said that you authorized him to claim your fund as soon as possible so that's why we are contacting to inform you that Mr. Andrew Cox want to claim your fund $8.6 million USD dollars
This fund has been in our custody for the past one year now and we have
been waiting for you to contact us but we didn't know what is hindering
you from reaching out to us since.
So we decided to write to you to make sure that you are fine and aware
of your inheritance fund of $8.6 million dollars in our office.
Kindly get back to us with the following details:
Direct telephone number:
These above listed details are needed as fast as possible if you didn't
authorize anyone to claim your fund in our office.
We have 3 means which you can use to receive your fund and you are to
choose the suitable option for you.
Here are the options:
(1) Bank to Bank wire transfer: It will take only 24 hours for you to
receive your fund into your preferred account. The cost of transfer
charge is $450.
(2) ATM Card delivery: It will take 48 hours for you
to receive your ATM card with the $8.6 Million US Dollar into the card.
The maximum amount you can withdraw daily is $5000. The delivery fee
(3) Consignment box delivery: Your fund will be sealed in a box
without anyone knowing what is inside it and it will be delivered to
your house in cash. It will take 2 working days to be delivered to
your house This will cost $320.
The above mentioned options are the medium which you can use to
receive your fund safely.
Endeavor to get back to us as fast as you can with your details and
suitable option if you didn't authorize anyone to claim your fund in
Your urgent attention is needed to enable us to proceed with the
transaction as your fund is ready for delivery.
Brian Thomas Moynihan
CEO of Bank of America