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:
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- dr.raymond muska, tel: +229 61 66 77 43 email:(firstname.lastname@example.org) please don't waste any time immediately you get this (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Philip W. Allin" <"www."@eagle.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.Philip W. Allin" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:07:09 +0900 (JST)
Subject: BENIN REPUBLIC EMBASSY,NEW YORK.
BENIN REPUBLIC EMBASSY,NEW YORK.
Consulate General of Benin Republic.
located at 4 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021
United States.Office of Prof. Ambassador-- Cyrille
S. OGUIN.Benin Republic Ambassador to United States.
Attn: ATM Gold Card Beneficiary,
This is to inform your officially that our Defence attached here in the Benin Republic Embassy New York United States has brought your uploaded ATM VISA GOLD CARD valued at the sum of US$2.5Million this morning from Benin Republic.
The Gold VISA Card was programmed and uploaded by the Central Bank of Benin Republic through the Benin Security Print and Mint Company and was handed over to our defense attached by (Head of State and Head of the Government)--Boni Yayi GCFR for onward hand over to me as the Country's representatives here in US,our defense attached who just came back this morning from Benin Republic with it and has handed them over to me as the Benin Republic Ambassador for United States of America for onward delivery to your home or office address in your City from NY here.
Note,This Embassy will courier your ATM GOLD card from our Embassy here through American Express Courier to your address at no cost of yours hence we will pay the courier fees from NY here to your address which you have to send to us immediately you receive the ATM card.
Sequel to the above,You are urgently requested to contact ATM Payment Director of Oceanic Bank International PLC in Benin Republic and ask him to release to you immediately your Activated PIN Code Numbers of your VISA GOLD CARD which you will use to make withdrawals,this is a Presidential Instructions attached on your parcel by Mr.President in other not to release your Pin Codes to the defense Attached who may tamper with it.
Contact Oceanic Director With the following information:
Director: Dr.Raymond Muska,
Tel: +229 61 66 77 43
Please don't waste any time immediately you get this letter so that he will only release your PIN CODE Password details as he cannot release that to me or another rather you the ATM GOLD card beneficiary.
Note:You will send to the Oceanic Director the sum of US$68. ONLY which is the cost for the Activations PIN Code Password fees,that is the only amount you will send to him before he will release your CODE to you,send to our embassy your accurate receiving address here in United States where you want us to send your card to and at our own cost and not you,please for urgency i will suggest you call the gentleman on phone so that he will act fast as this transactions demands.
The fee should be sent directly to the "Embassy Protocol Officer" with the below information: PAYMENT INFORMATION
RECEIVERS NAME; SUNDAY UDE
Update our Embassy as requested with the payment information after you have sent the money.with our E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr.Philip W. Allin.
Embassy Secretary for, Prof. Ambassador--Cyrille S. OGUIN.
Benin Republic Ambassador to United States.Benin House,NY.