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:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Szofia Wyatt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2021 11:49:46 +0100
Subject: New Management Decision to Assist Beneficiaries to have the Funds Cleared
[image: http://aka.ms/weboutlook] <http://aka.ms/weboutlook>
*BANK OF AFRICA - BENIN*
*178 AVENUE PAPE JEAN PAUL II,*
*01 B.P. 2020, COTONOU REPUBLIC DU BENIN*
*Email: * <http://aka.ms/weboutlook>*email@example.com
*Tel: +229 67270442*
*New Management Decision to Assist Beneficiaries to have the Funds C*
*It is regrettable that you stop all forms of communication to our bank
irrespective of your abandoned sum of **US$1,500,000.00 ** on your name
presently standing un**remitted**.*
*Following the new management decision to assist beneficiaries to have the
funds cleared by approving in partnership with UBA Bank under the
supervision of Central Bank of Benin to print an ATM Visa Card on your
name, delivered it to your house or office address so that you can make use
of the card to make withdrawal of your fund base on the card limit per day
from any ATM Machine around your location for the following reasons.*
1. *To withdraw cash in your country's local currency to clear all
outstanding debts on your head which has prevented you from accessing loans
or any other financial assistance from banks/financial institutions and
relations in your country.*
2. *To withdraw cash to clear all fees/charges that have delayed your
completion of this fund transfer * *to your bank account for the past
few months due to your poor financial condition.*
3. *To withdraw cash to open a new personal current/company account that
can receive this huge sum of transfer so that it will not attract
questioning from your country authority because of the nature or type of
your present bank account.*
*If the above explanations are well understood by you and you understood
that the reason for the ATM Visa Card is because our bank has no legal
power base on the banking rules of our country to tamper with your fund in
our bank for any deduction of any fees or charges and this ATM Visa Card is
the only way you as the owner of the fund can access the fund to clear all
outstanding debts holding the complete transfer of the fund to your bank
account before the end of this this **month** .*
*Therefore, re-confirm the following information to avoid mistakes in the
printing of the cards and your delivery address as we contact the delivery
companies for the cheapest cost of delivery to your country.*
*Direct Telephone numbers: â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦*
*Copy of your I D for identification for the delivery officials of the
*Thanks for your understanding and cooperation*
*Managing Director Bank of Africa*
*Email: **firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> *