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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "money gram" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR PAUL ADMAS <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 09:16:41 -0700
Subject: Attenetion: Beneficiray,
FROM ONCEANI BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC
CONTACT: MR. PAUL ADMAS.
ADDRESS; AVENUE STERMETZ RUE 1255
RE:IMMEDIATE ATM VISA CARD PAYMENT NOTICATION
Good day to you my dear friend,may the God almight father bless you for all
your effort and prayer concerning me. I just returned from hospital
yesterday.through i was not too well but i have to request for a descharge
as i know that God almight father will heal the rest but my aim is to be
able to comunicate with you.
I am pleading to you in the name of God because it has been a while now
that we did not comunicate any more. i hope things is moving normal,however
i decide to write you and verify if you have raise the needed fee which i
told you to pay before Left to hospital so that we can complete the
assignment we have at hand. now let me know. how you raise the money. if
yes please get back to me now with western union payment informations so
that my effort will been completed.
I tred to call you during my stay in hospital but i can see that your phone
is having a problem.please if you are you still willing to receive your ATM
CARD, just let me know immediately so that i will know that my dream is
The needed amount is $162.00 but i advise you to send $62.00 now then
return the balance of $100.00 after you receive the ATM CARD because i want
you to send the $62.00 immedaitely you receive this mail so that i will
register the ATM CARD for immedaite delivery and also give you D.H.L
tracking number to enable monitor the ATM CARD and know the time it will
arrive in your home address for you to receive it.
I swear to God almight father that $62.00 is only money that you have to
send untill you receive the ATM CARD at your hand before you can pay the
balance of $100.00 but please don't delay by sending the money today or
tomorrow because the ATM CARD will leave this country atleast thrusday to
your state.Here is the informations to send the money through western union
or money gram below:
1. RECEIVER NAME=======JOHN UDEH
2. COUNTRY======¾NIN REPUBLIC / CITY_ COTONOU
As soon as you make the payment please send an email with western union
payment informations so that we can pick up the money immediately and
register the ATM CARD for immediate deliver to your country.
be rest assured that $62.00 is for registation fee and is only money that
you have to pay as for now until you receive the ATM CARD then you can
return the balance of $100.00 okey.now you can go ahead and make the
payment immediately through western union or money gram.
I am looking forward to hear from you once again with westen union payment
informations if you are the real person but if not you, please don't
contact back. below the email address:( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please be a honest person to me because i have already swear to God with my
life to show you that i will not lie to you until you receive your ATM CARD.
May the God almight father bless you.
DIRECTOR GENERAL MR PAUL ADMAS
SEND THE MONEY TODAY
PHONE NUMBER +229 98333967