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:
- "money transfer control number" (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. )
- "registration fee" (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. )
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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 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: Dr James Okoh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Dr James Okoh <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:24:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: $10.5MILLION USD.
Â From: Desk Of Dr James OKoh,
The Director Of EcoBank Benin Republic
( firstname.lastname@example.org )
YOUR REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 06654
Today is friday being 19th of december, 2014. This is to inform you that on 22th of this Dec is the last date for you to send the registration fee to enable me assist you register your fund with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where the will issue you the International Transfer Coverage Certiifcate that will authorize Eco Bank International Remittance Department to effect the transfer of your compensation fund into your bank acocunt without any further delay.
Your fund will credit into your bank account within 48 hours you send the registration fee which is $100 .The problem which you have is that you have not ask your self why you have not be able to receive your fund, the answer is that your fund have not been registered with the Intern ational Monetary Fund (IMF). The United Nations and United State Government In Collaboration with World Bank concluded that before such amount of money can transfer to any country the beneficiary have to register his/her fund with the International Monetary Fund to enable them issue you the International Transfer Coverage Certificate that will enable the International Remittance Department to credit your fund into your bank acocunt.
I advice you to follow the United Nations and United State Government In Collaboration with World Bank instruction to register your fund with the International Monetary FundÂ before it too late. It will take only but 48hours to enable your fund reflect into your bank account.
Use the below information to send the registration fee as soon as you receive this mail.
Receivers Name:Â DOMINIC PETER
CountryÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Benin Republic
CityÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cotonou
Test Q uestion:Â Â Â Â Trust In
Answer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â God
Amount:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â $100
Send the money transfer control number or reference number direct to this mail box immediately you send the registration fee today.
( email@example.com )
Dr James Okoh,
Compensation Payment Department.
Eco Bank Plc