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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: johnson abbey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 08:44:56 +0000
My name is Johnson Abbey a member of the presidential committee on outstanding foreign contract debts review.
to the fire incident that destroyed all the related contracts files in
the account dept of the Benin national corporation Cotonou
You have been shortlisted as one of the indebted contractors for compensation payment with the sum of US$5.4m.
are hereby requested to contact me for more details in regards to
payment, also kindly include your private telephone number for easy
Waiting for your urgent response,
Mr Johnson Abbey