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:
- 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.John Campbell" <"WWW."@athena.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.John Campbell" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2017 03:21:19 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Federal Ministry of Finance,
Good day, this is to inform you of your long overdue Compensation
Payment In this office Files records over here.This department founds
your name and email address in the Central Computer / Federal Ministry
of Finance among list of Scam Victim unpaid Compensation Funds and
have to update your information by contacting you Through this email
for your immediate confirmation response back to my Office without
delay. The value capital Compensation fund amount of $6,500, 000.00
USD (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand dollars only) is to your
favor listed name for immediate payment.
However we received an email from one Mr.Williams Cooksey,who told us
that he is your NEXT OF KIN and that you died in a car accident last
four Months back. He has also submitted his account information$B!G(Bs to
the office Department for transfer of the fund payment credit to him
as your Inheritor of the fund stated herein.
Below are the Account Details:
2075 S. Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003
Acct. name: Mr.Williams Cooksey
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345
We are now verifying by contacting you through your email address as
we have in our Bank records before we can make the transfer into his
account and for us to conclude confirmation if you are still
alive.You$B!G(Bre the last person on the List to receive this Compensation
Fund as per the Federal Ministry of Finance Directives on Inheritance
Funds Outstanding Payment.
Please, if still alive, do urgently send email confirmation by Filling
the form details below as signification you are alive and willingly to
receive your funds payment.
FORM FILLING SIGNIFICATION CONFIRMING YOU ARE ALIVE;
Your Full Name
Full Residential Address
Direct and Current Phone
passport or Driver Licence
Do contact me with the details above if you are still alive for onward
processing of your fund release to you.
Your response is needed
Cotonou Benin Republic