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:
- "required 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. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Jack Bob" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 15:19:37 -0800
Subject: Response for More Details
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United Nations to Chattered Bank of Benin Republic to pay 100 Nigerian 419 scam victims $5.5 Million each, you are listed and approved for this payments as one of the scammed victims, get back to me as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your $5.5 Millions compensations funds. On this faithful recommendations, I want you to know that during the last UN meetings held at Benin Republic, it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the loose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today, in other to retain the good image of the country, the president of the country is now paying 100 victims of this operators $5.5 Million each, Due to the corrupt and inefficient banking systems in Benin Republic, the payments are to be paid by Chattered Bank of Benin Republic as corresponding paying bank under funding assistance by the National west!
minister bank Benin.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 64 beneficiaries has been paid ,half of the victims are from the United States, we still have more 20 left to be paid the compensations of $5.5 Million each.
Your particulars was mentioned by one of the syndicates, who was arrested in Lagos Nigeria as one of their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to them for any reason what so ever, the US secret service and FBI is already on trace of the criminals.
You can receive your compensations payments WIRE TRANSFERS; I shall feed you with further modalities as soon as I hear from you.
Send a copy of your response to below Email on choice of your funds remittance.
Contact Name: Mr. Scott Adams
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
Please Fill Below In Return Mail:-
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Fax Number:
9. Present Country:
At this time confirmation from the ministry in charge for the preparation of the documents will cost you $550 that is $270 to Federal tax document while $280 to get Insurance certificate document accumulated sum charges for both is now $550usd.
You are therefore advice not to toy with these developments as a mandate was also issued to terminate the fund immediately if you fail to claim your fund soonest.
Terms and condition
Do you agree to make the $550usd fee available for me to get the documents?
That all transaction should be kept secret until after payment?
If you know you can not abide by this laid down rules then kindly ignore the content contain therein and delete immediately. As No one is charging you for the shipment fee that has been taken care of by the government so you do not need to pay for it. The required fee of $550 is the fee you are paying.
Thanks and God bless.
Head Office Benin
CC: National Central Bureau of Interpol.