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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Hon. Charles Manno U.S.<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 30 Oct 2018 07:16:08 +0200
Subject: Your most urgent response/compliance will facilitate our earliest arrival.
FROM HON. CHARLES MANNO
UNITED SPACE ALLIANCE
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Cotonou Benin Republic
Am SURE it will Interest you to Know that your sealed Cash Award
Winning consignment Box of $4.5 Million
USD only with all the Proper Funding Certificate Documentation
are still waiting to be airlifted to your
address, We have made several attempts to contact you and this is
the 3rd and perhaps the last email to
you in respect to this matter, you are required to quickly
provide these requirements listed below:
Your Full Name:
Your Resident address location:
Your Country :
Name of the nearest Airport to your city:
Your contact Telephone number:
A copy of your valid id If Any:
As soon as we receive the necessary information from you then I
will arrange with Delivery Company and
settle their Handling/Service.
Your most urgent response/compliance will facilitate our earliest
Yours In Service,
Hon. Charles Manno U.S.
Ambassador to Benin Republic.
Tell: 229 69167948.