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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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: "Mendoza M.Schoenberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 02:45:20 +0900 (KST)
Subject: Our Ref: ...........FGN /SNT/STB
OFFICE OF THE SENATE HOUSE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT)
TOPKA-COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
Our Ref: ...........FGN /SNT/STB
Your Ref :...Date: 14/03/2011
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract/inheritance payment file and discovered the reason why you didn't received your contract/inheritance payment after fulfilling all stipulated obligations and documentations is because you have been dealing with unauthorized,
To this end, all your efforts to secure the release of your fund failed. We therefore wish to advise you that if continuing with such illegal acts to claim your contract/inheritance funds will further frustrate and stop your payment claim.
We have received the express mandate and instructions from MR.PRESIDENT,DR THOMAS YAYI BONI (GCFR) FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN together with the HOME LAND SECURITY to commence the immediate release of your funds through our swift card payment center.
Based on the PRESIDENT directive, we have concluded arrangements for the immediate release of your payment through our ATM card center which will send you an Visa/ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or Visa card outlet in the world with a maximum of $2,500 USD daily,
However, Note that this method of payment will be granted if it is acceptable by you for the release of your contract/inheritance fund. In View of this development you are hereby advised to contact the Director ( ATM Department) DR JAMES R.ANTHONY for further information with the following contact details;
DR. JAMES R.ANTHONY
Phone no# : +229 99 211 482
You are required to provide the following information:
1. Your full name:...................
2. Phone and fax number:........
3. Delivery Address:...................
The ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER has been mandated to issue out $950,000.00 ( Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) only as part payment of your contract/inheritance fund for the 2010/2011 fiscal year.
TAKE NOTICE: That you are warned to stop further communications with any other person(s)or office(s) different from the staff of the ATM CARD payment center or Dr JAMES ANTHONY to avoid hitches in receiving your payment.
Senator Mendoza M.Schoenberg
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT