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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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. Kekeni Benjamin" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 23:48:39 -0700
Subject: CORRECTION ON YOUR DUE PAYMENTS.
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ON FOREIGN PAYMENTS.
LOT 4509, LOKOKUME ELVIV, KALAVI, BENIN REPUBLIC
DESK OF THE EXTERNAL FINANCIAL DEBTS DIRECTOR.
HONORABLE DARCEL DEMA VAYLE
PHONE: +229 9914 7582
This is to inform you that the new government of Benin republic have mandated us to immediately commence the payment
of your $1.4musd (One million four hundred thousand united states dollars) been owed you by the central bank of
Benin (BCEAO) been payment for aborted investment projects/contract fund.
Your approved attorney made lots of mistakes in the payment documentation hence, all documentation will be handled
by this office to ensure there is no mistake in any of your documents which we have retrieved from the deposed
attorney, it is now your choice to follow instructions directly for your payment by responding to this email.
All payments is guaranteed within 6 working days if you follow the instructions and do not disclose it to impostors
to avoid same complication which you may have caused by unknown persons coming for your money once again we are
maintaining utmost sincerity and commitment towards your payment.
Mr. Kekeni Benjamin
Director, external financial debts director
Phone: +229 9914 7582
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