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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "SECRETARY DR.THANH NGUYEN" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 07:42:40 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS
Reference to your inheritance sum of US$1.500, 000.000 meant to be transferred to you via Bank of Africa during Mr Felix Mikes tenure as the Manager of Bank of Africa; the Police investigations revealed that he intended to divert your funds to his selfish and criminal interest. Investigations revealed also that he (Mr. Felix Mike) went as far as impersonating the authorities of the INTERPOL in order to intimidate you by sitting on your funds.
Meanwhile he has been dismissed and jailed for tarnishing the good image of the Bank of Africa , the financial institutional bodies of Benin Republic and impersonation on the INTERPOL.
This is to inform you that your payment has been with-drawn from Bank of Africa ; you are here advised to henceforth stop communication with the Bank of Africa . We have authorized TNT Express Company to deliver your fund directly to your home address. You are therefore advised to forward without delay,
1. YOUR NAME:
2. YOUR COUNTRY:
3. YOUR CITY:
4. YOUR ADDRESS:
5. YOUR AGE:
6. YOUR OCCUPATION:
7. YOUR MARITAL STATUS:
8. YOUR IDENTITY PHOTO:
9. YOUR PHONE & FAX NUMBER: Details to TNT Express Company for immediately receive Track number of your fund consignment.
Below is the contact information to enable you forward your detail to the company.
Contact Person: Director ,Dr. Terry Grey.
TNT Express Company
Address; Boulevard Jean Paul II
08 BP 179 Cotonou Benin
Tel: +229 99281396
We sincerely apologize for the troubles you have been through so far. I am assuring you that you will receive your funds without further inconveniences once you get in contact with the TNT Company.
Secretary Thanh Nguyen