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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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 Ray Walte <.w.@arion.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.Shegun Akintomi" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 17:06:47 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention please!!!
We were authorized by the President, Federal Republic of Benin and the Governing Board of Central Bank to investigate the unnecessary delay of your payment,to also recommend and approve your claims for payment if the report of the unclaimed contract/inheritance funds is genuine. However, we discovered that your funds has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of some banks.
We have agreed with the authority that we will handle this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by those officials. Currently your Inheritance/Contract fund of $7.5Million has been credited in ATM card.Contact Mr.Shegun Akintomi(Skye bank ATM director)with your details including phone lines for immediate delivery.
Contact Name: Mr.Shegun Akintomi
office line:+229 9889 4255
management of Skye Bank Plc