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:
- "united state dollar" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "mr stephen.souza" <"www."@io.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "mr stephen.souza" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:49:54 +0900 (JST)
I received an email from an unknown person trying to claim your funds of 5.5'000'Million United
state dollar Via Atm Card telling me that you are dead.
But i am doing this by the instruction given to me by my superior for the last time that if i
don't hear from you at this time, i should go ahead to award and dispatched the Atm Card and
Document, ownership to the new beneficiary after he had provided all the information needed to
effect the transaction.
But if you have anything as a prove (Scan Copy of your International Passport or Driver's
License) that you are still alive and able-bodied, capable of completing the abandoned
transaction, do not hesitate to do so as soon as possible because the unknown person is trying
to pay for the requested Fees for the Released of your Atm Card later today, but immediately i
discovered it i called the (Tax Officers Department) to stop the shipment of the Atm Card for
now that i will get back to them in a short period of time after i make my findings and
enquirers from you if really you are dead.
I bet you immediately you are very capable of completing this transaction, I shall hand him over
to the police and he will be punished for all his misdeeds and actions.
I awaits your urgent response in this matter before the fund is finally endorsed to the new
beneficiary meanwhile you are to re-confirm the information below so as not to delivered it to
the wrong person. 1.(Scan Copy of your International Passport):
Meanwhile bear in mind that you are to pay the remaining balance of $150dollars for the released
of your Atm Card immediately in order to complete this transaction with you specifically because
i am doing this for your own good.
Details on how to send the fee.....
Name of the receiver ......James Henry
Country ................ Benin Republic
City ............... Cotonou
Test Question ..........when
Test Answer ..........now
Amount ..............$150 Only
Thanks and Do Have a Great Day Ahead As i hope that my email will be followed immediately with a
Call +229 61106822