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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Charles Brown" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 19:51:27 +0100
Subject: Mr Charles Brown
This Offer May Interest You!
My Name is Mr Charles Brown,an Audit Manager with BONDBANK BENIN located in the Capital City of Cotonou Benin republic and would like to present a Business Proposal for your consideration.
I have a None-Resident US Dollar Account placed under my Portfolio as the Bank Officer attached to the Account with a closing balance of US$35,000,000.00 .This Account in question has not been operated by the Foreign Beneficiary for a period of 12 years till date. All my efforts to locate the Beneficiary in his Oversees Address prove abortive. Therefore, I am set to find a Partner to claim the funds with a sharing ratio of 50:50.
I do hereby anticipate your calls as soon as possible.
Mr Charles Brown
Audit and Accounting Officer
BONDBANK BENIN , Rue du Gouverneur Bayol,
01 BP 1280-Cotonou