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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 08:03:20 -0700
Subject: REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE
FROM REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE BENIN.
ADDRESS: BARNES ROAD P.O BOX 12720.
COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC.
HOW ARE YOU?
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT THERE IS AN ATM CARD IN THIS OFFICE THAT IS DEPOSITED BY A UNITED NATIONS AS A COMPENSATION FUND ON THE 15TH OF LAST MONTH.
YOUR NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS WAS ATTACHED TO IT AND IS TO BE POSTED TO YOU. WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO CONTACT US FOR YOUR ATM CARD WHICH CONTAINS THE SUM OF USD $1,500,000 ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS.
SO KINDLY GET BACK TO THIS OFFICE (REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC) TO AVOID FRAUDULENT ISSUES CONCERNING THIS SERVICE.
YOU ARE TO CONFIRM AND PROVIDE TO US YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS BELOW.
YOUR FULL NAME..........
YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS.....
YOUR DIRECT PHONE........
NOTE: THAT YOU ARE TO PAY FOR THE DUTY STAMP FEE OF $105 USD ONLY. YOU ARE ADVISED TO GET BACK TO US (REGULAR MAIL POST OFFICE) FOR DIRECTION ON HOW TO SEND THE $105 TO THE POST OFFICE FOR IMMEDIATE STAMP OF YOUR ATM CARD.
NOTE: THAT EVERY CLAIMS HAS AN EXPIRING PERIOD OF SEVEN WORKING DAYS (7 DAYS) SO YOU HAVE TO DO THAT VERY URGENT TO AVOID EXPIRATION.
YOUR BEST REGARD'S,
MR. ALBERT AMOULE