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:
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: P WORLD BANK AUDITORS <"www."@river.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Andrew Paul <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:32:57 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR INHERITANCE CONTRACT PAYMENT
AFRICA REGIONAL OFFICE
P WORLD BANK AUDITORS
lot Independence Ave,
Ridge, Cotonou Benin republic
The World Bank auditors in Benin republic have deliberated on your inheritance/contract payment with government of Benin in collaboration with International Monetary Policy office of the Benin Presidency and resolved that all fund approved in your name should be released to you without any delay through upon the immediate successful appraisal and authorization by the World Bank auditors and the Benin republic Presidency
It is important that you note that payment will be made to you only through bank to bank wire transfer using a designated paying bank as will be appointed by the Benin Presidency
You are hereby requested to reply this email with the following details.
(1) Your name of receiver...........
(2) Your personal home address..........
(3) Your city and state...................
(4) Your telephone number.................
(5) Your nearest airport...................
(6) Your all email address..................
(7) Your next of kin name, phone number and email........
(8) your Bank Name.................
(9) your Bank Address.................
(10)your Account Number:.....
(11)your Routing Number:.........
(12)your Swift Code:............
Be informed accordingly that an amount of US$10.5 million has be approved for payment to you because of shortage of foreign exchange available for the initial settlement of a long list of unpaid bills.
You are strictly warned to contact only the undersigned who would be guiding you through the Claims process.Upon successful appraisal, your file will be forwarded to the benin Presidency for approval and authorization of transfer.
Andrew Paul Smith
(World Bank Benin republic Auditing Board)