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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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. )
- "processing fee" (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. )
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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.
- 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: Mrs Janet Edward <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:10:16 +0200
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY COMPLEX
SENATE HOUSE - UPPER CHAMBERS WUSE DISTRICT, COTONOU BENIN
ATTN: SORRY IF YOU RECEIVED THIS MAIL IN YOUR SPAM, DUE TO RECENT CONNECTION
ERROR HERE IN THE COUNTRY,
IF YOU FAIL TO SEND THE $49 TODAY YOUR $1.500, 000.00 IS GONE
OUR REF: FGN /SNT/STB
I HAVE TO INFORM YOU AGAIN, THAT WE ARE NOT PLAYING OVER THIS, I KNOW MY
REASON FOR THE CONTINUOUS SENDING OF THIS NOTIFICATION TO YOU, THE FACT IS
THAT YOU CAN''T SEEM TO TRUST ANY ONE AGAIN OVER THIS PAYMENT FOR WHAT YOU
HAVE BEEN IN CANTERED IN MANY MONTHS AGO, BUT I WANT YOU TO TRUST ME, I
CANNOT DEFRAUD YOU FOR $49 IT IS FOR BANK PROCESSING OF YOUR PAYMENT, THE
FEES OF $49 IS CLEARLY WRITTEN TO YOU BEFORE, I DID NOT INVENT THE BILL TO
DEFRAUD YOU OF $49 IT IS AN OFFICIAL BANK PAYMENT PROCESSING FEE, AND THE
GOOD PART OF THIS, IS THAT YOU WILL NEVER, EVER BE DISTURBED AGAIN OVER ANY
KIND OF PAYMENT, AND THE FORMS FROM THERE BECOMES EFFECTIVE ONCE WE SUBMIT
YOUR PAYMENT APPLICATION PROCESSING FEE AND PAY THE FORM FEE OF $49 I DON''T
WANT YOU TO LOOSE THIS FUND THIS TIME, BECAUSE YOU MAY NEVER GET ANOTHER
SUCH GOOD OPPORTUNITY, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS KEEN AND VERY DETERMINED TO
PAY YOUR OVERDUE DEBTS, THIS IS NOT A FLUKE, I WOULD NOT ! WANT YOU TO LOSE
THIS FUND OUT.
THE PROCESSING CHARGES WHICH WAS INITIALLY ON THE HIGH PRICE HAS BEEN CUT
DOWN BY THE PAYOUT BANK CONSIDERING THE POOR ECONOMIC SITUATIONS THAT MAKE
IT DIFFICULT FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS CITIZENS TO MEET UP WITH THE PROCESSING
CHARGES OF THEIR ENTITLEMENT. UPON THE CONFIRMATION OF YOUR PROCESSING
CHARGES YOU WILL GET YOUR $1.500, 000.00 INTO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHIN 15HRS.
ONLY WHAT YOU WILL DO NOW IS TO CONTACT US BACK AT (
MRSJANETEDWARDS@GMAIL.COM ) IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OF RECEIVING YOUR FUND AND
INFORMATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU WERE TO SEND THE BANK PROCESSING CHARGES
TO AVOID WRONG TRANSACTION, FINALLY MY ADVICE TO YOU IS NOT TO ABANDON THIS
TRANSACTION BECAUSE OF THE REQUIREMENT FEES.
BELLOW IS THE INFORMATION YOU WILL USE TO SEND THE MONEY THROUGH MONEY GRAM
RECEIVER''S: NAME: (VICTOR OBI)
AS SOON AS THE PAYMENT IS RECEIVED, YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR $1.5MILLION THE
SAME TODAY WITHOUT ANY DELAY.
DO NOT REPLY BACK, (NOREPLY) CONTACT ME HERE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED EMAIL: (
MRS. JANET EDWARD EMAIL: ( MRSJANETEDWARDS@GMAIL.COM )
INTERNATIONAL WIRE TRANSFERS,
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE BENIN REPUBLIC