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:
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Amos Lamah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2019 23:22:18 +0100
Subject: LETS WORK TOGETHER
Good Day to you.
I know this means of communication may not be morally right to you as a person but I also have had a great thought about it and I have come to this conclusion which I am about to share with you.
INTRODUCTION: I am the Credit Manager United Bank of Africa,UBA Cotonou, Republic of Benin and in one way or the other was hoping you will cooperate with me as a partner in a project of transferring an abandoned fund of a late customer of the bank worth of 5.800,000 Euro (five million,eight hundred thousand Euros).
This will be disbursed or shared between both of us in these percentages, 55% to me and 35% to you while 10% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring.
I await your response so that we can commence on this project as soon as possible.
Reply to this Email: email@example.com
Credit Manager U.B.A ,
Cotonou, Benin Republic.