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:
- 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:
- "money gram" (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. )
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. MARK J BEN" <"www."@yacht.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "MR. MARK J BEN" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 12:39:07 +0900 (JST)
REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC
GENERAL POST OFFICE: ADDRESS: BARNES ROAD P.O BOX 12720.1#160;COTONOU BENIN
Welcome to the regular mail post office Benin Republic, this is to
bring to your notice about your package, and the content of the parcel
US$4.5Million ( FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS). It's from
the government of Benin Republic and we are instructed to mail it to
you as your CONTRACT/INHERITANCE payment fund.
You can agree with me that your PARCEL Contains the sum of
US$4.5Million. Please bear in mind that our shipping fee and security
fee of your parcel will cost you the sum of $195.00 only. So kindly get
back to this office (regular mail post office Benin Republic) with the
payment information of the $195.00 to receive your package. You are to
confirm and provide your current information such as your telephone
number and your current postal address.
HERE IS THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO CONFIRM FOR THE SHIPPING OF YOUR PARCEL.
1. Your Full Name ========
2. Your Direct Cell No ========
3. Your Postal address ========
4. Your City ========
5. Your ID ========
Note that you are to pay for the sum of $195.00 as a security charges
and shipping fee of your PARCEL. You are advise to send fee to the
post Office Cashier's name below and forward the payment information
for us to commence the shipping of your PARCEL immediately.
HERE IS THE INFORMATION TO SEND THE FEE THROUGH MONEY GRAM ONLY.
RECEIVER NAME ======== JOHN ONYEKA
COUNTRY ============= BENIN REPUBLIC.
CITY ================ COTONOU
AMOUNT TO SEND ====== $195.00
Looking forward to hearing from you today.
The Benin Postal Service (B.POST) is the national carrier of all
classes of mail items for delivery both within and outside Benin
Republic. Mail items, which include letters, postcards, printed
papers, parcels and aerograms are processed through the post office.
Maximum weight for Speed post is 50kg. Maximum weight for
International item is 30kg.
DIRECTOR POST OFFICE
MR. MARK J BEN