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:
- "huge sum of money" (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 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)
Fraud email example:
From: WEST AFRICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 01:21:39 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: A MESSAGE FROM THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
WEST AFRICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
Complex 6, carre 3452 GRA Avenue Akpakpa
Tel: (+229) 9676-5586
I resumed duty recently as policy harmonization chairman on public
debt a committee set up by West African Monitoring Institution (WAMI)
under the able presidency. My office monitors and controls the affairs
of all banks and financial institutions here in Africa, that is to tell
you that I am committed to up holding and defending the constitution and
laws of West African Monitoring Institution as well as achieving a
higher level of public safety and security through the prosecution of
criminals in the state.
The purpose of the committee among other
is to investigate, verify and settle all outstanding total pending
payment owned and Records before i resume work have revealed that your
payment has not been effected as a result of official negligence as your
fund has been identified either as ghost file, unclaimed deposits, and
over-invoiced sum etc, this is due to many abnormalities which had
happened in the institutions where some top
official of the apex Banks are interested in your payment and they
collaborate with impostors who are carrying a fake portfolios with
levies misled and misguided about the position of your fund and having
the opportunity to extort money from you that made it too longer up till
date that explains why you receive different kinds of untrue emails and
phone call from different people everyday.
So, be inform that we have concluded all the necessary arrangement
towards the release of your payment but due to the prevailing situation
worldwide on cash movement and transfer of huge sum of money, your
payment has since being deposited with our (OFF-SHORE PAYMENT CENTER)
AFFILIATED TO WORLD ASSOCIATIONS OF DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICES.
Base on the information we received from our paying office today,
as the truthfully beneficiary of this payment, you are responsible to
pay $145 for your PROGRAMMING as the authorities demand which we
described as selective payment to enable the programming of the
information in the micro chip compartment which will comply with DEBT
MANAGEMENT OFFICES to effect the transfer of your fund exactly on the
particular date or period (24 hours) specified in the transfer script
text for the fund to be made available to you any way you wish to
Please reconfirm your name, address and telephone to this E-mail:( email@example.com
) so that we can advice you on how to send the money across to enable
us finalize this transfer this week. Your payment shall be made as soon
as this information needed from you is submitted through our paying
office by wire transfer or by a certify bank bond America Express Che
ques all the transfer charges will be deducted from your total sum as
long as you send the $145 for the programming of the information.
The consequences of not adhering to this warning would be yours.
Considering the circumstances at hand, you are advice not to accept any
E-mail telephone calls that does not come from this office in regards to
your payment this is to forestall new effort towards a diversion of
Accept our congratulations in advance.
General Joseph Kone Guei
Cotonou, Benin Republic
NOTE THAT THE AMOUNT TO BE TRANSFERED INTO YOUR BANK ACCONT IS $900.000.usd NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND STATES DOLLARS ONLY.
WEST AFRICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
Premier Towers 8th& 9thFloors
PMB CT 75, Cantonment
Cotonou, Benin Republic