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:
- 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: John Wright <Johnwright3@riooioioioii.ga>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:23:11 +0100
Subject: Re: This is a genuine business transaction
For your kind attention, I will be very glad if you do assist me to relocate a sum of (15 Million USD)to your personal bank account for the benefit of both of us.
This is a genuine business transaction, only that I can not operate it alone without using a Foreigner as required in my bank law, therefore I am contacting you to stand before my bank as the beneficiary of this fund, that is my reason of contacting you in this manner to assist me actualize this better opportunity for us to share the benefit together.
You will be entitled to have 35% of this fund as my foreign partner, since you will provide a bank account where this money will be lodged, while 65% will be for me.By indicating your interest on assurance of trust, Send the following information:
(1. A Beneficiary name and contact address.
(2. Your direct Office Telephone/Mobile.
(3. Your Age and occupation.
(4. Your ID
I will send you the full details and how this business will be executed upon receipt of your reply.
Please keep this proposal as a top secret between both of us because the secret of this transaction is as well as the success of it. If it interests you to accomplish this transaction with me for our mutual benefit, reply back to me immediately for the modalities. And if you are not interested about this business delete it immediately in your email box. I will be looking forward for your urgent response.
Address: COTONOU BENIN REP - COTONOU BENIN REP - COTONOU BENIN REP -
COTONOU BENIN REP - ... Phone: +229 64 598306