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:
- 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:
- "stamp duty" (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Anne Clement" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Anne Clement" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 03:46:22 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Your silence is some kind of shocking to this office
Your silence is some kind of shocking to this office, are you aware that we have completed the verification of your details for the claiming of this fund as the regulation requires? if we must proceed with your transaction then you must keep frequent reply; this is a Ministry and there are certain rules to be followed before the fund will not have any problem in reaching you and after our meeting today, it has been decided that you either claim the fund or as the fund owner order the termination of the fund and lose the fund to be ordered back to the Government Reserves Account as an unclaimed fund, I really wish you to claim this fund but not with the character you have showed which simply shows you are willing to let the fund go.
Please note: this morning after our meeting where we submitted your files for the fund claim and its approval, the Board now want you to send to us your scan signature which will allow us to terminate the fund if you are not ready to meet up the requirement for the stamp duty fee which is $55.
I emailed you several times and you did not respond and I feel you are ready to lose it, if you have had or been affected by the fraud in Africa, I want you to know today that this is the chance you have to receive your only approved fund in Africa, I did mentioned to you that you were just unlucky to lost the money you lost because you dealt with impostors and now you have a great chance which I want you to try trusting my word, please decide today and let us know.
Details of sending the stamp fee of $55.00 are below and please send it as i directed you below without mistake;
Receiver$B!G(Bs name: Frank Edu
Location: Cotonou Benin Republic
Mtcn control number$B!D!D(B.
Thank you for your understanding while I am waiting for the payment details.
Mrs. Anne Clement, director recovery fund.
Tel: +229 98987720