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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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: "Barr. Donatus Amusso" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Barr. Donatus Amusso" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 03:06:14 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Respected Beneficiary.
I wish to inform you that I have deposited your UN Compensation ATM DEBIT CARD of US$1.2M United states dollars to the Express Delivery services in Benin Republic, due to I have waited enough to hear from you so that your funds can be transferred through UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA(UBA) to your account,but because of your late response I now decide to deposit the ATM DEBIT CARD with the Express delivery services company.
I have paid them their delivery charges of 300euro on your behalf and the only fee to be paid is their security safe keeping fee of 200euro. I will be traveling ASIA to see my client and will be back after two months,therefore I will advise you to contact the shipment officer through his contact information listed below to avoid them increasing their security safe keeping fee.
Note that I packaged the ATM DEBIT CARD inside a magazine where nobody will notice the content,I also told the shipment officer Rev.Maxwell Duke that it is an ordinary African magazine which I want to deliver to my friend to avoid further delay unless you delayed to send their security safe keeping fee.
Below is the shipment officer contact information including his email address with the your parcel reference number, note that without you indicating your parcel reference number as listed below, the delivery company will not listen to you they will be imagining if you want to steal another persons parcel.
Attention: Rev. Maxwell DukeShipment Officer,Express Delivery Services Benin RepublicE-mail:(firstname.lastname@example.org)Tel: +229 99 418 225Nos of parcel :EG2272Parcel Code#:01721457
Also below is the information they are requesting to deliver the ATM DEBIT CARD to you to avoid wrong delivery.
Full name:..........Home address:.......Country:...........Telephone:..........Occupation:........
Please make sure the information is complete as they promised that once the received their security safe keeping fee of 200euro with your delivery address,your ATM card will be delivered to your door step under 48hours according to the assurance given to me from the shipment officer, and shipment tracking numbers will send to you too.
Your ATM DEBIT CARD withdrawing access pin code number is (0258) take note, once you received the card you take it to any Automated Teller Machine(ATM) around your area,slot the card and enter the pin code number (0258) for withdrawal, the maximum amount you will withdrew in any ATM machine any where in the world is us$1,000 per hour and can cover US$15,000. (Fifteen thousand United State dollars) a day.
Barr. Donatus Amusso01 BP 258 Zongo CotonouRepublic of Benin.