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:
- 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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Mrs.Uzuma Ani" <"www."@beach.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Uzuma Ani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 18:57:24 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention Beneficary,
Central Bank Du Benin Republic
Following to several complains from many beneficiaries who has experience long delay to their funds transfer as they have already spent lots of money towards securing one document or the other. Hence we advice you stop making any more payment to any person(s) or office(s) in respect to your outstanding funds.
The central bank du Benin has resolved to effect direct transfer of your funds to your designated accounts through e-payment system and this allows you to have access to your fund account online and make transfer to any of your account without hitches.
All you are required to do is to send only the shipment fee of $95 only for the delivery of your ATM cards to your doorstep and your ATM cards worth $1.2M shall be brought you to start making withdrawal of your funds from any ATM machine around you and start making transfer of your funds in installments to any bank account of your choice.
Please reconfirm your full name, address, Telephone number and country of Origin and you shall be directed on how to send the delivery fee $95 only.
Your prompt response is needed.