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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Customer Service<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2018 15:03:42 +0200
Subject: Attn; PleaseRead and Get back to me now
UNION BANK OF BENIN
ADDRESS;PLOT 136,AKPAKPA ROAD
COTONOU REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
RESPONSE TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SECURITY REASONS; ( unionbankingcustomer=
INHERITANCE COMPENSATION FUND CLAIMS.
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 in=
the Central Computer / Federal Ministry of Finance among list of Scam Vict=
ims unpaid Compensation Funds and have to update your information by contac=
ting you Through this email for your immediate confirmation response back t=
o my Office without delay. The value capital Compensation fund amount of $7=
.800, 000.00 USD (Seven Million Eight Hundred Thousand dollars only) is to =
your favor listed name for immediate payment.
However we received an email from one Mr.Williams Johnson, who told us tha=
t he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last four Mont=
hs back. He has also submitted his account information=2019s 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
800 788-7000 FREE
Acct. name: Mr.Williams Johnson
ABA # 322271627
Acct # 1951204345
We are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Ban=
k records before we can make the transfer into his account and for us to co=
nclude confirmation if you are still alive.You=2019re the last person on th=
e List to receive this Compensation Fund as per the Federal Ministry of Fin=
ance Directives on Inheritance Funds Outstanding Payment.
Please, if still alive, do urgently sending email confirmation by Filling i=
n form details below thus as signification you are alive and willingly to r=
eceive your funds payment.
FORM FILLING SIGNIFICATION CONFIRMING YOU ARE ALIVE;
1. Your Name in Full=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
2. Your Address (Current Address) =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
3. Your Country / State of Origin =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
4. Your Telephone Number (Cell / Home Phone) =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
5. Your Age & Marital Status=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
PLEASE, CONTACT OUR OFFICE EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SECURITY REASONS ; unionbanki=
Mrs.Lissa Ibrahim Customer Care Officer