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:
- 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:
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Jim Martin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 18:44:37 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: FINAL NOTIFICATION ABOUT YOUR FUND OF US$10.5MILLION.
>From United Bank for Africa (UBA) International Payment Department.
Cotonou, Benin Republic
Phone Number: +229-9961-9566
Fax sms:: 00229-6819-3324
Issue Date: 4-11-2011
Attn: Value Customer.
FINAL NOTIFICATION ABOUT YOUR FUND OF US$10.5MILLION.
We have today through our intelligence monitoring system dictated that you have a pending transaction worth 10.5Millions US Dollars held with the Federal Reserve System with our bank here and the funds in question came from United Nation Compensation promo in your name. We want to find out why you have not received the funds to your account. According to the United Nations laws it is a very big crime for someone to attempt an international financial claim and drop it half way without completion and the United States government will never condole such an act from any citizen of thier great nation because it destroys every international integrites.
You have to get back to us urgently so that we can give you the legitimate guidelines on how to receive your funds without spend much money. get back to us on this Email address at email@example.com for easier cominication or call +229-9961-9566 to speak with customer care Director Mrs. Susan Moore.
Be final informed that your failure to respond to this notice will bring a cancelation of your payment file worth 10.5Millions US Dollars finally and have it return back to government account here Cotonou, Benin Republic, so you have to obey the law for the law to protect you if you want to claim your payment account fast, contact us right back for more details important or send your private telephone numbers and full names, address soonest.
We await your response.
Dr. Jim Martin, Assistant Director
United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Cotonou BENIN Section 2011.