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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Inspector General Of Police Benin Republic <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 18:24:45 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: THE POLICE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU OUT
SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION
FROM HEAD QUATER STATION
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
BENIN REPUBLIC WEST AFRICA
Telephone Number +229 96478669
name is Mr Ruben Moussa the inspector general of police Benin
Republic,This is to inform you that the government of this country Benin
Republic are rewarding you the sum of $400,000.00 dollars as one of the
scam victim.We where able to get your email through those that extort
money from you when the police got them arrested , One of them gave us
your email address. The president of this country His Excellency Mr.Yayi
Boni has sent aside the sum of $400.000,00 Dollars by Atm Card to send
to you through Post Office,the maximum amount you will be receiving
each day is $3,500dollar,the Atm Card will enable you cash your fund to
any Atm Machine center in your Area,We thereby have made a concrete
arrangement with the POST OFFICE for a safe delivery to your door-step
once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the conveyance.Below is your
Atm Secret Pin Code (0366), Note that all the deliver fee has been paid
on your behalf. But you are to send $52dollar immediately to our
office for the Activation of your atm secret pin code to enable you to
withdraw your fund to any Atm Paying Machine Center in your country.So
you advice to contact inspector general of police Benin Republic Office
immediately with your full information for deliver of your Atm Card and
also to enable our office confirm that you are the real owner of this Email address to avoid any mistake.
Your Full Name.......
Your Telephone Number.........
The Amount You Lost..........
Contact our Office with this information below for more information and for quick deliver of your Atm Card.
God bless you
Mr Ruben Moussa
Inspector General Of Police Benin Republic
Telephone Number+229 96478669