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:
- "million 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)
- "@diplomats.com" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
- +229 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "U.B.A BENIN" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 15:19:26 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: Inrespect to beneficial email address.
Inrespect to beneficial email
Firstly i will like to introduce
myself, i am mr fred craig. the payment senior officer at united bank of
africa plc, atm payment centre benin republic. my bank identity
card is intact in case you need it for confirmation.
i am very glad to inform you that
after crosschecking your payment files in the headquarter of world bank,
we the bank management has been instructed to credit all your payment of us$2.5million
dollars into visa atm account that will allow you to withdrawing all your
fund in any atm machine in your country which we did already on
your name last week.
and according to the approval of
your atm statement account, the maximum amount sign for you to be withdrawing
in per day is (us$5000 dollars) till you withdraw all the total fund credit
into your atm visa account which is us$2.5 millions dollars only and here is
your atm account numbers been credited your total fund in your name last week
is: 4088-1834-4618-9021 also the atm card and other particulars
will deliver to your home address once you contact thetnt courier agent
however, i believe that kennedy hunter responsibility of delivery your
atm visa card is presently now in your country and if you would
like to claim your payment in atm visa card kindly contact tnt delivery agent
mr. kennedy hunter immediately you got this massage for further
contact person: mr. kennedy
email him at ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) also make sure you send him your full delivery
information as we list in this massage to insured that the atm card in parcel
is deliver to your door step.
your full name:
your home address:
your private phone no:
a copy of id passport: .
email address: and nearest airport:
immediately you send the
information needed to our agent, be rest guarantee that your atm visa card
contains all your funds and pin code number both all the vital documentation
backing up your atm account will deliver to you in 4hours working bank
service without any delay.
finally note: this payment you are
receiving is coming directly from world bank assistance programmed
2012 promo, so its risk free and we have chosen the world most prestigious
delivery company to deliver your visa card to you. therefore we left a number
for easy way of contacting us if you still need further information in this
matter call +229.98771200.
thanks for your time and fast
response in this transaction as it will help us more to serve you better.
mr fred craig. Atm payment dpt
united bank of Africa plc, benin republic.