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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "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)
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Larry <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 12:01:04 -0700
Subject: Attention Beneficary
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations who are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes those of Lottery/Contract and Inheritance Payment From 2010 years ago till 2019
Records. Through our Fraud Monitory Unit we have also noticed that over the past 5 good Years,You have been transacting with some impostors and fraudsters In Cotonou- Benin Republic,Ghana,Spain,London UK and even Togo who have been impersonating likes of Courier Companies,Western Union & Bankers, none officials of Eco Bank,
And some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) formerly known as the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (EFCC) of how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these impostors/Fraudsters. As a result of this we hereby advise you to stop communication Completely with any one not referred to you by us Central Bank of Benin.
We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment total US$6,900,000.00 has been released to you via western union money transfer by receiving 5,000 usd, so therefore, we have deposited the check of the US$6,900,000.00 as we all agreed with western union office.
All you have to do is to contact the western union manager at: [ firstname.lastname@example.org] they will give you direction on how you will be receiving the funds daily, But our agreement with them is 5,000 USD daily until the whole of US$6,900,000.00 is full transferred to you, so contact them and also send them your information such as
1,Receiver name and address........
Email them with above address, the contact person is Pastor.Eric Jackson with
phone number; +2296829870
contact the western union manager at: [ email@example.com ]
Please This Details above will help them to Secure and know that You are right Beneficiary to receive the fund, It is very necessary and You Funish them all this Infos on receipt of this message. Please forward all the info to this email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr.Larry J .Roland