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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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.Harry William" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr Micheal Orwell <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:27:58 +0700 (WIB)
Subject: Good Day Beneficiary
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
Bank Name: United Bank for Africa Benin Republic
Avenue Jean Paul I BP 325- Cotonou
Good Day Beneficiary
I wish to use this medium to inform you that your full Payment of $20.5Million United State Dollars) from Federal Reserve Bank Benin has
been RELEASED and APPROVED for onward Transfer to you Via VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw all the USD 20.5Million Dollars in any
ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum you can withdraw in a day is USD$ 6000 Only.
We have mandated the United Bank for Africa Benin Republic to send you the VISA CARD and PIN NUMBER which you will use to withdraw all
your USD$20.5 Million United State Dollars in any ATM SERVICE MACHINE in any part of the world, but as I have mentioned earlier, the
maximum you can withdraw in a day is USD$6000.00
You are therefore advice to contact the bank with the below information to enable them speed on the transfer.
1) Your Full Name...............
2) Your Delivery Address........
3) Your Age.....................
4) Your Sex.....................
5) Your Occupation..............
6) Your Phone and Fax Number....
Contact the bank through their contact information listed below:
Mr Micheal Orwell
Finally, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as that is an illegal act and you have to stop if you
so wish to receive your payment immediately.
Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept our congratulations.
Federal Republic of Benin.