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. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- my sectary janet juliet for more details. email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) ambassador james william payment instruction: receiver (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: AMBASSADOR JAMES WILLIAM <"kashiwa."@proof.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: AMBASSADOR JAMES WILLIAM <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 21:43:38 +0900 (JST)
Subject: GREETINGS FROM US EMBASSY
ue Caporal Bernard Anani
01 BP 2012, Cotonou, Benin
Office Tell: +1 (585) 337-9784
Web site http://cotonou.usembassy.gov/
GREETINGS FROM US EMBASSY
I am Ambassador JAMES WILLIAM from United States i joined the State Department in 1988. I am a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. Prior to becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Benin, I was the Executive Director of the Bureau of African Affairs from August 2015, following two years as the Deputy Executive Director. I spent most of my career in Africa, including as management officer in Harare, Windhoek, Conakry, and Djibouti, and as General
Services Officer in Brazzaville.
I would like to inform you that your funds issue was brought to my office this morning because the director of the United Bank For Africa (U.B.A) here in Benin Republic said that they have uploaded your inheritance fund worth ($10,800,000,00) into a new Visa Card but since then they have not heard from you, so the case was brought to my office in a view to Cancel your fund and divert it into government treasuries account, because of your sudden silence to comply with delivery terms and conditions. Then, I asked what are the conditions but i was told that you are been required to pay the delivery charges cost $150 but i told him to wait because there is no need to cancel the payment that i will do my very possible best to bring the issue to conclusion since it has been brought to my office.To the best of my knowledge, i found out that this fund is legitimate and i advise you should send the delivery charges cost $150 to ship your Visa Card that contains your inheritance fund that worth ten Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only ($10,800,000.00) I guarantee that this fund will be delivered under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I will be here guiding you on the inheritance matter as well as backing you up with all the necessary information that may be required.
What could be your reason of refusal and chosen to abandon such huge amount of money? I want your urgent reconfirmation of your delivery information to me such as your full name, address and telephone number as soon as you receive this email. Because this is last opportunity you have to receive your inheritance fund so do not fail to notice this wonderful moment to have your fund that you have been looking for way to making it reality. I will be waiting to hear from you to resolve the issue as quickly as possible for you to receive your overdue payment.
This message contains information about the bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Benin as well as foreign policy, economic affairs, domestic issues, and U.S. society and values. Led by the Ambassador, the U.S. Mission works to foster a friendly relationship between the U.S. and Benin for the benefit of both countries.you can also contact my sectary Janet Juliet for more details.
AMBASSADOR JAMES WILLIAM
RECEIVER NAME:::: Buchi Mike
COUNTRY: BENIN REPUBLIC.
TEST QUESTION: URGENT
AMOUNT: $150 USD
MTCN NUMBER. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ambassador of the United States to Benin
Amb. JAMES WILLIAM
Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Tell: +1 (585) 337-9784
Personal e-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org)