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.
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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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Hon. Dr. John Keduora " <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Hon. Dr. John Keduora " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:40:51 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello my dear,
Â AttentionÂ My Dear,
It is my pleasure to reach you after our unsuccessful attempt on our business transaction. Well, I just want to use this medium to thank you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the funds.I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner Mr. Alfredo Gomez Castillo.
Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the Lady Accountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), and she rendered a tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated this idea and everything worked out successfully.
In appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the funds, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $3,500,000.00(Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in a Cashier's draft.This is from my own share. I did this simply to show appreciation to you for your kind support and assistance even though we couldn't succeed due to some unforseen circumstances. Presently, I am in South Korea for investment with my own share under the advice of my partner.
In the light of the above, you are therefore to contact my personal account keeper in Cotonou Benin Republic. His name is Mr.Paul Edeh and do send him your banking information's to enable him transfer the draft to you
his e-mail address: ( email@example.com)
His name is Mr.Paul Edeh
Telephone:+229 98833 903
Address: Akpakpa Cotoniou Benin Rep. also send to him the below information for him to send your cheque to you without delay :
1.Your full Name,.....
3.Your correct mailing address where you want him to send the bank draft to you.
So feel free to get in touch with him to send the draft to you without any delay.
With my best regards,
Hon. John Keduora