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. )
- "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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.LARRY JOHNSON" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MR.LARRY JOHNSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:07:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: of your outstanding fund US$2Million of yours
Why are you decided to make yourself a loser of this fund by refusing to pay the 60 dollars for the renewal of your transfer file,Be rest assure that as soon you send the $60.00usd they must start transfering of your fund through Western UnionÂ within 2hrs after confirmation of the fee without any further delay and this is the only fee you have to pay in this transaction as it was written down already by the Federal government of this country that mapped out the compensation for you ok. What makes you think that you will not secure your fund and have Access of the fund as Beneficiary you should know that I have made everything possible for you so kindly go now and send this Fee US$40 Does it means that you are intentionally want to delay this matter and it has been long that I made the announcement of release of your fund which is ready to be with you so with all due respect I advice you to go now and send this Fee immediately without any delay and update me because I want you to secure this fund as a agreed and
Does it means that you are no more interested of making the claim of your outstanding fund US$2Million of yours which have successful channel to transfer and reflect into your bank and up till this moment you have decided to remain silent after I have personally took an Oath for you to secure this fund.be inform that the amount you will be receiving each day is $5,000.00usd once you send the $60.00usdÂ for the renewal of your transfer file, However,You are therefore advice to Contact the General Manager of Western union Department, Benin Republic ( Mr.Bab Coker ) through below email address:
Â Â Â Â
Kindly notifyÂ your nearest F.B.I office if you did not receive your first payment after 2hours you send the feeÂ from Mr.Bab Coker ok. and here is this email so that you can forward the payment to him once you send the money:(email@example.com)
Meanwhile, Start thinking on how good to invest your fund because I am
100% sure of this transaction and the fact will prove it's self the
moment you send this $60 usd. For sure I will personal make sure
that I send you your first payment immediately i receive the fee from you soonest to theÂ base on this
Send it to bellow information via western union or money gram:
RECEIVER'S FIRST NAME: JERRY
Address: COTONOU, BENIN REPUBLIC
Text Question: In God?
Text Answer: We Trust
Amount: $60 Dollars
I will be waiting on your urgent feedback with the MTCN of the $60.00 thanks.
and send him your Fund Release Pin R1209I so that he will transfer your fund to you immediately they receive theÂ $60 from you.
Thanks and accept our congratulations.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Phone +229 6060560
>From Minister Of Finance,
Federal Republic of Benin.
FROM THE CHIEF JUDGE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF BENIN