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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "U.S.AMBASSADOR BENIN " <"www."@lily.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "U.S.AMBASSADOR BENIN " <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:07:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Diplomatic Delivery of your Cash Consignment to Resident Address?
FROM HON. CHARLES MANNO
UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Cotonou Benin Republic
Am SURE it will Interest you to Know that your sealed Cash consignment of $4.5 Million USD only with all the Proper Funding Certificate Documentation are still waiting to be airlifted to your address, We have made several attempts to contact you and this is the 3rd and perhaps the last email to you in respect to this matter, you are required to quickly provide these requirements listed below:
Your Full Name:
Your Resident address location:
Name of the nearest Airport to your city:
Your contact Telephone number:
As soon as we receive the necessary information from you then I will arrange with Delivery Company and settle their Handling/Service.
Your most urgent response/compliance will facilitate our earliest arrival.
Yours In Service,
Hon. Charles Manno U.S.
Ambassador to Benin Repuent Board Of Directors