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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "western union" (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. )
- "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. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: UN Crime Fighting Officer <"WWW."@fuga.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: UN Crime Fighting Officer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:02:09 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Attention my dear friend
Urgent Attention my dear friend :
My name is Mr Robert mike, I am a crime fighter and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. I was mandated to come to Africa to investigate frauds that are being committed here in Africa at intervals. I am presently working with the Benin inspector general of police, some FBI and CIA agents to ensure that the perpetrators of this Evil activities are urgently apprehended.
I am very honored to be invited to eradicate fraud completely in Africa which I have vowed to do without any fear or favor, but it baffles me to discover that your impending funds from Africa, which was intercepted, has not been released to you till this moment after being cleared by the Benin Presidency, Federal Ministry of Justice and the Finance Ministry. It is also clearly indicated that you have made several attempts and spend much money to transfer your funds to your account but to no avail.
With the help of the Benin Police, special FBI and CIA agents in Benin, We have managed to apprehend some scam syndicates who made some confessional statements and indicted Ex-Governor of Central Bank of Benin ( Professor Benjamine Oliaku and his successor Dr. Michael Oduwah. They have confessed how they have impersonated the names of some UN Executive members like MR BAN KI-MOON, Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius and Ms.Carman L. Lapointe Lapointe Mrs Paulette Beal to defraud their victims.
Please, we have noticed that Benin are very ruthless and have defrauded so many foreigners, we have also discovered the irregularities in foreign payment files intentionally masterminded by these scammers and urgently called the attention of the World Bank President and Mr. Bank Ki-Moon and they both came to a resolution that the Federal Government of Benin must pay a total amount of $10.5Millon to each of the people whose names were found in the list till this irregularity has been corrected.
This approved amount must be made available to all beneficiaries within the next 5 banking days or an Economic Sanction will be placed on Benin by the UN and other international Organizations.
NOTE: On no account must you be requested to pay any fee by any Bank or individual in Benin. The only fee you must pay to receive your fund which covers every other fee is a UN POLICE FUND CLEARANCE REPORT FEE OF $75.00,This must be paid directly to my office here for the procurement and endorsement of all your fund approval/release documents by the UN.
WARNING!!!!!!. The UN has never for once sent any Diplomat to Benin for any payment. IF you have any dealings with anyone claiming to be any of these persons, please STOP immediately or we shall cancel this payment of USD$10.5Millon that has already been approved to you. Note that, the UN POLICE FUND CLEARANCE REPORT FEE is must and very important, so take note of that.
NB: Every communication should be made through the e-mail address below:( email@example.com ) on how to send the $75.00 only.
NOTE: We have asked for the above UN POLICE FUND CLEARANCE REPORT FEE to make available the most complete and up-to date records possible. immediately Contact me via E-mail for instructions on how to send the $75.00 any other contact or payment you make apart from the UN POLICE FUND CLEARANCE REPORT FEE is at your own risk. WE will like your respond to this call to avoid any further delaying and when replying this mail, include your,
1. FULL NAMES:
2. HOUSE ADDRESS:
6. DIRECT PHONE NO:
kindly take urgent action in sending the $75.00 through Western union or money gram to enable immediate release of your funds,
THE DETAILS TO SEND THE MONEY IS:
RECEIVER NAME: ..... BEN UDE
COUNTRY:..... BENIN REPUBLIC
AMOUNT:.... US $75.00 USD
TEXT Q:.. A
You are therefore advised to comply immediately without further delay and your funds will be released forthwith.
Thanks for your anticipated compliance to this message.
Mr Robert Mike
UN Deputy Secretary-General.
UN Crime Fighting Officer.