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:
- "you are advice 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.
- 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.Land" <"WWW."@energy.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Larry Land" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 22:18:48 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention Please!!!
This is Special message from the F.B.I Cotonou Benin Republic, Be inform that your E-mail address is one of the selected scammers victim, be inform after UN meeting hold on last week, the Central Bank of Benin Republic has compensated you with sum of $3.5M, today the appointed bank BOA has programmed your
compensation inheritance Fund into cooperation visa card ATM, your card was submitted to our office for proper verification's before sending the ATM CARD
Be inform that today We have registered your compensation fund $3.5M USD inside ATM CARD with DHL Express courier with registration code of (GB039GB), Contact the DHL courier Cotonou with Your Full Information stated below.
COPY OF YOUR ID...........
For safe delivery to your door step. Note that all the necessary documents backing up the ATM card has been submitted to the DHL courier director and the
office are waiting to hear from you, you are advice to contact the DHL office now with information$B!G(Bs below.
Contact person; Mr.Fred Ibrahim
contact the DHL with Information now for the delivery of your ATM as director said and also assured you that your ATM will be deliver to your destinations
Address within three working days, let us know as soon as possible you receive your ATM CARD for proper verification's.