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:
- "email@example.com" (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.
- 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. Christopher Peter" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 00:46:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: DESK OF BANK OF AFRICA BENIN REPUBLIC
United Nation Organization
760 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017, USA.
RE: DOCKET NO. OP 292.
Our Ref: UN/BKL/STB
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$10.5 M ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD?
We wish to inform you that your payment of USD$10.5 Million from the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been released and ready to be paid to you via ATM VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw the US$10 Million from any ATM Machine in any part of the world.
We have mandated the Bank Of Africa Benin Republic Plc, to issue an ATM VISA CARD and PIN# which you will use to withdraw the fund from any ATM machine in any part of the world but the maximum amount you can withdraw per day is US$10,000.00usd. You are strongly advice immediately to contact DR.EMMANUEL JOHN, the Manager of Bank of Africa Benin Republic Plc, via his email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) TelePhone Number +22998644349and send him With Your Full information such as:
1. Full name
3.Phone and fax number
4. Address were you want them to send
5. The ATM card to (P.O box not acceptable)
6. Your age and current occupation
7. A copy of your identification
The ATM VISA CARD approval in your name has been sent to DR.EMMANUEL JOHN, he is waiting for your above information to enable him process and send you the CARD and PIN number without any delay. So make sure you contact him right now with your information and tell him that you received a message from the UNITED NATION, Instructing you to contact him for immediate release of your fund via ATM VISA CARD.
Contact FBI via this email: (fbiReports@instruction.com) if you did not receive this ATM VISA CARD after 72hours once you contacted him DR EMMANUEL JOHN, MANAGE BANK OF AFRICA BENIN REPUBLIC PLC. You are warned to disregard other contact or any communication you have with other offices.Please we are very sorry for the plight you have gone through in the past. Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept out congratulations!
MR. Christopher Peter
Public Information Officer.