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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Godwin Onuoh" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. Godwin Onuoh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:25:47 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent Attn: Dear Friend,
Â Â Urgent Attn: Dear Friend,Â Its my pleasure to inform you that i have verify from the bank director regarding the transfer of your fund and it was good news because the requested fee was less expessive for you to afford. Your Bank Draft contains your total fund( $4.6Million USD) have deposited with the ZENITH BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC so that your fund will be wired to your account immediately you contact the bank director with your banking details.Â However i went to ZENITH BANK PLC to discuss this with the bank director as its has not been delivered to you However he told me that your fund can be transfered to you via a direct wire transfer(KTT) into your account.He told me to instruct you to contact the bank to apply for a direct wire transfer into your account to avoid loosing your fund due to delay, Therefore contact ZENITH BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC with below information, send to them your bank account information where transfer your total fund.Â ZENITH BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC WEST AFRICANDIRECTOR GENERAL: REV DR COLLINS UZODIRECTOR GENERAL ZENITH BANK PLC BENINOFFICE ADDRESS:52/53 NEW AIR STATE COTONOU BENIN.TELEPHONE: +229 985-69-400EMAIL;email@example.comÂ Send an email to the bank with the above bank email and apply for your wire transfer as i have informed the bank about you already, On receipt of your fund into your account endeavour to inform me immediately you receive your fund in your account. the director told me that the only fee you are to pay is $67 usd for the opening of new international account here in there bank that will be use to transfer the fund to your destinated account in your country and it will also serve as the bank transfer charges.Thanks and May Bless Be With You.Â Mr. Godwin Onuoh