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:
- "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. )
- "courier company" (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 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Central Bank of Benin <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Central Bank of Benin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:44:39 +0800 (CST)
Subject: ATTENTION PLEASE READ VERY CAREFUL.
CENTRAL BANK OF BENINCOTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
central bank of benin has obtained your contact details as legitimate owner of the approved funds.
CENTRAL BANK Copyright 2004-2013 CENTRAL BANK Cotonou Benin Republic
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND,
AGBOKOU, ANKPA ROAD
OPPOSITE TUNDE MOTORS COTONOU.Our ref:
IMFDUS3WXXXÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your ref.
message is reaching you
from the office of the International Monetary Funds. (IMF),Â My name is
Mr. . Ben Richard Resident Representative of (IMF) here in
Benin Republic. I am writing this mail with deep sorrow as saw your name on the file last 2week ago as the one of the most beneficiary which did not receive their fund compensation valued US$6.5millon which was
supposed to been delivery to you, so after the board executives meeting
last week it was concluded that your total fund of US$6.5millon should
be convert into ATM Visa Card which I have done already, so we went to
the delivery company to register your ATM Visa Card. All the necessary
arrangement of delivering your ATM Visa Card was made with DHL Courier
Company Ltd here in Cotonou Benin Republic,
I am very happy
today because all the movement I made, every thing goes normally. So the
only company that agree to carry on the delivery to your home address
is DHL Courier Company on one
condition, as they found out that the Card is not having insurance
coverage on it, more I rush to insurance company to check the cost of
insurance coverage, which they check the value of the money has been
loaded into the ATM Visa Card, which the cost of insurance is $80.00.Â
We have done many deliveries already but arrangement of delivering your
ATM Visa Card to you started last week Friday.
Here is the DHL Tracking Number of Mrs. Cynthia Bartley who received her funds.
(1) Click Here http://www.dhl.com/en.html . To tracking it,
(2) Tracking Number: 6881353721
Here is the DHL Tracking Number of Mr. Tyson Lester who received his funds.
(1) Click Here http://www.dhl.com/en.html . To tracking it,
(2) Tracking Number: 6881353813
are the next person right now. So all I want you to do now is to send
the $80.00 forÂ the insurance coverage of your ATM VISA CARD to enable
me personally make the deposit
and provide you with the tracking evidence of the shipment for you to
confirm and know the location and time of arrival of your ATM Visa card.
But if you can not come up with the insurance coverage fee donât expect
to receive anything.
Your ATM Visa card is still with me as am
talking with you right now, so you have to send the insurance coverage
fee immediately so that I can move with insurance company to insure your
card as soon as possible, payment information below. Send the money
through Western Union and send it immediately because it is better to do
the right thing at the normal time,Â
In addition, I am hereby
giving your every guarantee and also 100 % percent assurance that this
is the only money you will pay payable and after you pay it you will
receive your ATM Visa Card and start withdrew your fund immediately
without any setback, so try to send this fee today through Western Union
with the provided
1. Receiver name:............. Mr. Ignatius Obeche.
2. Country:............. Benin Republic.
3. City :............... Cotonou.
4. Zip Code........+229
5. Test question:....When?
6. Test answer:......Today
7. Amount ..........US$80.00 only.
after this payment we need your full information because is very improtant
Your Country Name___
Your State Name______
Your City & Home Address______
Your phone number____
A Copy Of Your id____
Your Nearest International Air-Port------------
have to stop every transaction you are communicating with other
organization to avoid delay on the processing of your funds; we have
taken over the transaction.
Have a wonderful day and may god be with you in all your endeavors.
Mr. Ben Richard
Resident Representative in
Tel: +(229) 99604056