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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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 James Knight <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2014 00:49:35 +0100
Subject: LETTER OF GUARANTEE
The New Foreign Paymaster General
Central Bank of Benin
Tinubu Square Cotonou
Our Ref: CBB/IRD/CBX/02/2014
LETTER OF GUARANTEE
Responding to the latter we received today from office of the Presidency
and office of the Senator David Mark. Senate President and Chairman Senate
Committee in what they said over the past experiences with you have
encounter in years past has now boarder them so much to consider to treat
fair signing of Clearance paperwork entrust base on your second paragraph
of the latter I received.
Therefore wish if this situation regards to this institution law act was
not made to guide illegal transactions abroad which Chief Accountant of the
Federation could have go on sign the the final Clearance paper on your
favor without the charges backing up the transaction to confirmed into your
account before your reporting, but at the same time, he ask you if you can
be on his shoe reason with him office of the Federation he make a credible
endorsement of transaction done after you send the needed fee of $59.00
only as soon as the obligations is being done perfect you will get paid
I, Mrs. Jennet Debor Rosemary, Director, Foreign Paymaster General, Central
Bank of Benin (CBB) wish to guarantee you that as soon as you pay the total
sum of $59.00 only for the (Final Transfer Pin Code) I, Mrs. Rosemary Iwu,
promise to transfer your fund immediately without any problem. This letter
of guarantee will be treated as
stated as soon as you, send the fee of $59 only.
This is to notify you that after our meeting this morning with the
President, Accountant General of the Federation, and broad of directors the
bank CBB. They instructed me to transfer your funds as soon as possible you
come up with obligations required $59 only.
Please i have to explain to you. it was based on the instruction receive
from our President Federal Republic of Benin to release all foreign debt
through this office urgent you send the needed charge before we will
release your funds to you as soon as possible.
Based on the above, you, Milton Stevenson, have been given 100% guarantee
that as soon as you made the payment of $59.00 only for (Final Transfer Pin
Code) your fund will transfer and reflect into your account as stated above
Note: This letter of guarantee was made with good intentions this 24th day
of Oct, 2012, and the content of this Promissory note/guarantee letter will
be treated as stated therein. Via western union with receiver's stated
RECEIVER NAME:Chibuzor Nweke
TEXT QUESTION: GOOD
AMOUNT FEE: $59
Congratulation and remain God bless, while we look forward to hear positive
from. Hope to receive good news from you shortly. Thanks and have a great
and wonderful day more ahead.
Expecting your urgent response.
Mr James Knight The New Foreign Paymaster General,
Central bank of Benin (CBB)
call me at this number once you receive this message.+229-98333967