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:
- "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: Mr Patricia Santos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr Patricia Santos <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 15:43:22 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear long time friend
Â Dear long time friend
How are you doing today? It is my pleasure to reach you after our unsuccessful attempt on our business transaction some time ago, I am obliged and very happy to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from U.S.A Mr. Patricia Santos Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the Lady Accountant who works with the Benin Ministry of Finance (B.M.F) and the International Monitory Fund (IMF) in Cotonou Benin.
Due to your pass effort we have decided to compensate you with the sum of $us3.7Million. united States Dollars in an international ATM VISA CARD. We did this simply to show appreciation to you for your kind support because without the your same last name I would have not gotten to the end.
I left this ATM VISA CARD with the managements of my Pastor a Blessed man of God Rev. Pastor Adodo AsikAÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â .Â as a parcel for security reasons pending when you will contact him with instructions of delivery.
Below are his contacts:
Faith Family Bible Church Benin
Rev. Pastor Adodo AsikA
P.O.Box: 05 Bp 258
Cotonou- Republic du Benin
Forward your contact address where you want your package to be sent to. Note that I kept this compensation for your tireless efforts and attempts you showed to assist me. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much, so feel free and get in touch with my pastorÂ to send you your ATM VISA CARD.
Mr Patricia Santos