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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: FROM HIGH COURT OF ECOWAS RB BRANCH <"www."@pastel.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: FROM HIGH COURT OF ECOWAS RB BRANCH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 23:55:01 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Attention Dear
FROM HIGH COURT OF ECOWAS RB BRANCH:
B/OP/1234 PLOT AKPAKPA, COTONOU BENIN REP.
OUR RF.CODE: BSEL/773/AWN/031/17
Urgent Attention Dear
Please my dear the entire High Court Of ECOWAS Benin Republic are here to make it clear to you that there was a case that has been handling in this ECO-WAS Court since 20th June 2016, repeated on Monday 19th of December 2016 and again today being 22nd of February 2017 concerning your award winning/inheritance payments, total sum of $10,800,000.00 because we got some reports that you did not received your funds since after every stories you heard from banks, couriers and delivery agents regarding the funds and all type of payments you have paid to receive the funds but none is received by you.
And we are here to know the truth because the person that is in-charge of the transaction said in this court here that you have received your funds and confirmed to him that you received your funds as cheque.
Please we are here to hear the truth from you, because according to the president of this country Dr. Patrice Talon, he told us that you did not receive your funds since last year, he stated that his office did not have your name in file of those who received their inheritance funds from Benin Republic.
Please have bellow what we want you to answer to enable us to handle this case normal as the reporter said that it has been done to you.
(1) Do you receive any money from Africa. . . . . . ?.
(2) If you received money from them, how much. . . . . . .?
(3) Through which way, bank or courier do you received the money from. . . . .?
(4) Is it true that you received money through Courier. . . .?
(5) In which date or year. . . . . . . . . . . .?
(6) Which authority approve the file . . . . . . . . . ??
Please we advise you to go direct to this question above and answer us immediately because we want to get the truth from you.
Base on the issue, this time if you don't receive your funds, you will receive it according to the instruction of this High Court Of ECOWAS Benin Republic after our verification because we have been receiving news from your Government that our Government officials and personalities were scamming people of your Country and that is what we are going to handle at once and we need your reply so that we can get the truth.
But please the truth and sincerity is what we required from you because you must prove to us by forwarding the emails and names and contacts phone of those peoples who scammed you before for the evidence, as we promise to trace them through Our real Federal Police Interpol..
More so forward your full details Below to enable us handle the case normal.
Your full correct Name:___________________
Home Address:_________________ ____________
Current occupation:___________________ _____________
Cell Phone Number:_______________________ _____
Copy of your ID card Or Driver Licences?
We wait to hear from you soon.Best Regard.
Chief Justice Toga Mclntosh
FROM HIGH COURT BENIN REP. BRANCH
call me or text on +2298773062