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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Tony Drumm" <"www."@lake.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.Tony Drumm" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:12:14 +0900 (JST)
To The Owner Of This E-mail,I have contacted my secretary to confirm if you have received the compensation draft cheque of (US$10.500.000) which I issued in your name, but he told me that he could not send it to you because of the courier charges. Now I have called my bank to cancel any payment regards to the draft cheque and then authorized them to transfer the payment into ATM CARD in your name which they did. As of now be informed that all charges has been paid and the ATM CARD is going to be in your name, but to reactivate the ATM Card you have to forward your current informations as requested below to the bank and the only money you will pay to the bank is US$100 for the ATM Card Reactification fee, then they will send you the ATM CARD for your immediate use.
Here are the informations you have to forward to the bank:
1. YOUR FULL NAMES:______
2. Postal ADDRESS:_______
3. PHONE NUMBER:_________
4. CELL NUMBERS:_______
5. EMAIL ADDRESS:________
CONTACT PERSON: Rev.Father Godwin
Director, ATM Foreign Operation Dept.INTERCONTINENTAL Bank Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Phone: + 229 68362337
Fax: + 229 61037820.
Email : (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Get back to me once you received the ATM CARD ok.
Thanks and God bless you.