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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE OFFICE COTOUNOU BENIN REP <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FROM FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE OFFICE COTOUNOU BENIN REP <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:19:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE OFFICE COTOUNOU BENIN REP
Â Attention Dear Esteemed Beneficiary.
We the Federal Ministry Of FinanceÂ Cotonou Benin Republic' West Africa has approved your long Overdue contract inheritance
payment of ($10.5 million usd) into an International ATM VISA CARD Account and registered it with the national DHL
Courier Company and will be lifted up by their delivery agent Dr.George Williams
Therefore kindly be advised to Contact the director Dhl Express Courier Company immediately you receive this email to enable them
to activate your airway bills and notify you with your tracking number so that you can be able to be viewing the delivery process
through the national Dhl Website via (www.dhl.com) for you to know the exact time of arrival in the next 24 hours to your country.
CONTACT PERSON:Dr George Williams
Kindly reconfirm the information listed below for the smooth delivery of your Atm package.
(7)ID card copy.........
Thanks for adhering to this instruction'
Reply accordingly for more directives'
Mr. Maxwell Peter
E.Mail(Â Â Â )
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE OFFICE
COTOUNOU BENIN REP'WEST AFRICA.