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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "offer" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 17:13:57 +0200
Subject: contact him now -- S
Good day and how are you today?
Hope all is well with you and your family?
I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of
another partner from JAPAN who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. Due to your effort sincerity courage and trust worthiness
showed during the course of the transaction.I have left acertified international bank cheque for you worth of $1,500 000.00
cash-able anywhere in the world the cheque will be process to ATM VISA CARD for you by the contact below.
Contact: Henry Alexander
Cotonou Benin Republic.
His Email -- email@example.com
Therefore you should send him your
3.your correct mailing address where you want him to send the bank check to you.
Thanks and Hope to hear from you.
Mr. Micheal Jones