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:
- 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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 Glory willams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 23:21:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: INDICATE YOUR RELEASE CODE NO: 0763 PIN: 55674
For immediate delivery of your overdue sum of $3.8 Million USD Certified Bank Draft.
You are advised to re-confirm YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER for Immediate delivery of your Certified Bank Draft to your delivery address.
WORLD BANK COURIER & SHIPPING COMPANY has been advised by the UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR to BENIN REPUBLIC to accept half of the total amount charged by the Board of Internal Revenue for insurance,
So what you are now required to send toÂ WORLD BANK Courier Management is only $55.00 USD and do not forget to quote your new Payment approval details (i.e. BCEAO APPROVAL NO: BCEAO/5685, WBAI REF NO: WH44CV, ALLOCATION NO: 674632, PASS CODE: 339331, PIN: 55674, RELEASE CODE NO: 0763 and DRAFT CONFIRMATION NO: 31-1114433). Â
Contact us now through this email: email@example.com
Mr. Philips Dawn
World Banks Africa Integrated
Phone: +229 98 43 89 56
this is the latest instruction from Mr. President, Chief Yayi Boni (GCFR) Benin Republic and the World Bank African Integrated.
If you know that you are not the rightful beneficiary, DO NOT sends any Insurance charge as stated above to the World Bank Courier Management but if you are one, then go ahead and contact the WORLD BANK Courier Management for your Certified
Bank Draft delivery and as you are directed to send the $55.00 USD for insurance toÂ Philips Dawn
Receiver Name:â¦EUGENE MMOKWE
Address:Â Â Cotonou Benin Republic .
Test question: AB
We expecting to hear from you soon.
Mrs Glory willamsÂ