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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- of police cotonou, benin du republic e-mail------ firstname.lastname@example.org we are working towards a corruption-free world by (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM INTERPOL POLICE FORCE UNIT." <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 00:07:56 +0900 (KST)
Subject: FROM INTERPOL POLICE FORCE UNIT.
Chief Saudi Phillippe Blot,Inspector General of Police
Cotonou, Benin Du Republic
We are Working towards a corruption-free world by promoting and defending integrity, justice and the rule of law! Mission statement of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, We cover West African Countries.
My name is Chief Saudi Phillippe Blot,inspector general of International Police Force Investigating Benin Republic. This is to inform you the government of this country Benin Republic is sending you the sum of US$1.3 Million which you were supposed to receive, which was lost before, because we arrested some scamers yesterday for a criminal act which is against our law, they are confessed.
The government is rewarding these funds to you as compensation! One of them gave us your email address which we are using to contact you now! If you are the person, please reply immediately.
Today the president of this country, His Excellency Dr.Yayi Boni has set aside the sum of US$100.000.00 to make it $1.4 Million (One Million Four Hundred Thousand Us Dollars) in a consignment to send to you through Fedex Courier Company. You fund is already with the Fedex Courier Company, waiting for you to reconfirm your address and telephone number.
We have made a concrete arrangement with the Fedex Courier Company for a safe delivery to your door-step once you contact them with your information.
Note: That the delivery fee has been paid on your behalf. You are advised to send only your reconfirmation information to them before their agent will proceed to Benin Republic International Airport first thing tomorrow morning with your consignment .
Your funds are at the Fedex Courier Company now. Contact them below with your shipping information.
Please the Fedex Courier Company also need the dedection approval from the Supreme Court charges of $180 so that they can insure the consignment here before moving with it and you advise to do that immediately to avoid any delay.
The deduction approval certificate is to help your consignment not be stop by the Authorities and all charges will be deducted.
Send your information to Dr Brendon Demas, E-mail;; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Brendon Demas
Fedex Manager, Cotonou Benin Republic
Direct Telephone line +229 989 664 12
Your Full Name.......
Your House Address.........
Your Telephone Number.........
Your Next Of Kin To Hand Over To In-case of you are not around when the agent arrive..............
FROM INTERPOL POLICE FORCE UNIT.
Hon.Chief Saudi Phillippe Blot the inspector general
FROM INTERPOL POLICE FORCE UNIT.