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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "MR. KENNETH J. ERIC." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 13:44:19 +0530 (IST)
Subject: I AM WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION OF YOURS.
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA BENIN
AGBOKOU STREET, COTONOU
P.M.B.0127, AGBOKOU, COTONOU
ATTN DEAR BENEFICIARY,
I AM MR. KENNETH J. ERIC DIRECTOR CASH PROCESSING UNIT,UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA [UBA] THE ONLY BANK APPOINTED BY THE O.A.U MEMBERS LED BY PRESIDENT JOHN KUFFOR.
BECAUSE OF THE FRAUD GOING ON IN WEST AFRICA COUNTRIES WHERE SOME INNOCENT BENEFICIARIES WERE ASK TO PAY IN ADVANCE BEFORE RECEIVE THE MONEY OWED TO THEM.
THE ABOVE AFRICA UNION HELD MEETING IN BENIN REPUBLIC AND RESOLVE TO PAY ALL BENEFICIARIES IN CASH THROUGH MEANS OF DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE. WE RECEIVE YOUR FILES FROM INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(I.M.F) AS ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES.
TAKE NOTE; TEN THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS (US$10.000) HAVE BEEN MAPPED OUT FOR ALL EXPENSES IN SENDING THE MONEY TO YOU THROUGH GENUINE DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE AND HOW IT WAS SPENT WILL BE DETAILS TO YOU.
THEREFORE, I WANT YOU TO BEAR IT IN MIND THAT YOUR TOTAL FUND WILL BE NO MORE ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS ($8.500.000.00) BUT ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS ($8.490.000.00).
IF ANY BODY TELLS YOU THAT HE IS PAYING YOU IN BANK DRAFT OR TALE-GRAPHIC MONEY TRANSFER WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER, DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM OR HER BECAUSE DUE TO THIS FRAUD NO INTERNATIONAL BANK HONORS OUR REMITTANCE INSTRUCTION ANY MORE. THAT IS WHY WE SETTLED TO PAY IN CASH THROUGH COURIER .
WE ALSO RECEIVED A SECURITY REPORT THAT YOU ARE COMMUNICATING WITH ALL THOSE FRAUDSTERS WHO HAVE BEEN DECEIVING YOU, TELLING YOU THAT THEY ARE GOING TO SEND THIS MONEY TO YOU AND ASK YOU TO PAY SOME MONEY IN ADVANCE.
DEAR, AS A SENIOR BANKER, CONTROLLING THIS CASH PAYMENT NOW, I ADVISE YOU NOT TO WASTE YOUR TIME COMMUNICATING WITH THEM, WASTING YOUR EARNED MONEY BY PAYING ANY BODY IN ADVANCE AGAIN, AND IF YOU JUST FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTION, YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR MONEY IN THREE DAYS TIME.
YOUR FUND WILL NOW PACKAGE IN BOX AND TAKE TO THE DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT, I WILL ALSO SEND THE PICTURE OF THE BOX BY ATTACHMENT TO YOU TO SEE HOW THE MONEY IS PACKED I WILL SEND YOU MORE MAILS TO GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION WITH MY INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT FOR YOU TO KNOW THE GENUINE AND LEGITIMATE OF THIS TRANSACTION.
THEREFORE, DO FORWARD YOUR HOME ADDRESS AND TO ME FOR QUICK DELIVERY BECAUSE TIME IS NOT IN OUR SIDE.
ALL THE DOCUMENTS WILL BE SENT TO YOU IF I AM ASSURED THAT YOU HAVE STOPPED ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH THOSE FRAUDSTER . BUT GOD WILL SURELY JUDGE ALL OF THEM WHO LIVES BY CHEATING. MY BIBLE SAYS WHAT DOES IT PROFIT A MAN IF YOU GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD BUT LOOSE YOUR SOUL.
I AM WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION OF YOURS.
MR. KENNETH J. ERIC.
DIRECTOR CASH PROCESSING UNIT
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA
Email:::::: ( email@example.com )
TELEPHONE NUMBER +229 9610 6714