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:
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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: "UNITED STATES EMBASSY" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:09:57 -0800
Subject: FROM UNITED STATES EMBASSY
Rue Caporal Bernard Anani
01 BP 2012, Cotonou, Benin
Phone; local: 2130.0650
Tel: +229 68 32 62 40
Fax local: 2130.0670
Web site http://cotonou.usembassy.gov/
Hours Monday to Thursday: 8:00 - 12:30 / 13:30 - 17:00
Friday: 8:00 - 13:30
GREETINGS FROM US EMBASSY
We the American Embassy in conjunction with the United Bank For African Cotonou, Benin Republic has come to agreement to send your funds via ATM Card without any
further delayed and they have did as instructed by the United Nations (UN) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of the recent lifted embargo on Foreign
transactions by Benin Republic Government, as matter of fact, your fund (ATM CARD) has already arrived in the one of the Airports in United States but the diplomat
signaled us that he lost your contact address as result of scrutiny at various Airports.
Now, Contact Diplomat Mr. Dennis Young with your full delivery address and more importantly your telephone number for easy communication to avoid delayed and mistake
on this information below;
Agent Name: Mr. Dennis Young
Cell phone: (832)4295062
I advice you urgently now to reconfirm the above following information to him, so that he can deliver your fund as soon as possible.
Mrs. Evelyn Berry
United States Embassy.
This message contains information about the bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Benin as well as foreign policy, economic
affairs, domestic issues, and U.S. society and values. Led by the Ambassador, the U.S. Mission works to foster a friendly relationship between the U.S. and Benin for
the benefit of both countries.
This communication is intended only for the recipient(s) named above; may be confidential and/or legally privileged; and, must be treated as such in accordance with
state and federal laws. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use of this communication, or any of its contents, is prohibited. If
you have received this communication in error, please return it to the sender and delete the message from your computer system.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.