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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Robert Scott Dewar" <"WWW."@chive.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Robert Scott Dewar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:33:27 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Scam Victim,
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992
Zakari Maimalari Street
Cadastral Zone AO,
Central Business District, Benin.
Dear Scam Victim,
The BRITISH High Commission in Benin Republic received a report of scam against you and other British/US citizens and Malaysia, Etc. The countries of Benin Republic, Nigeria, Bokinafaso and Ghana have recompensed you following the meeting held with the four countries'Government and various countries' high commission for the fraudulent activities carried out by the four countries' Citizens.
Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Benin Financial Intelligent Unit (BFIU). Compensation has been issued out in Bank draft to all the affected victims and has been already been in distribution to all the bearers. Your Bank draft was among those that were reported undelivered as at on Friday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your draft immediately.
NFIU further told us that the use of Benin Country was abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned courier services in Benin and thereby have made a concrete arrangement with the UPS Courier Company for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the conveyance. email@example.com ,
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the BFIU endorse your payment this time. Be advised that you should stop further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you. Furnish us with the following details to satisfy you for the Compensation.
Full Name: ..........................
A copy of your identification is also needed:
Contact immediately to check if the endorsement date suits you.
Yours in Service,
Mr. Robert Scott Dewar
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION BÃ©nin Republic