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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Adams Steve" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2019 12:37:57 +0100
Subject: From United Bank of Africa Bank here in Cotonou
I'm Mr. Steve Adams. with United Bank of Africa Bank here in Cotonou
Benin. I was wondering if you received my last email. I sincerely seek to
present you as the Next of Kin to a late client who left behind $125.5
Million USED in a fixed deposit account in my bank.The American born client
was an Oil Merchant and died without a Next of Kin. You and I will obtain
the legal documents that will give you the legal right to make this claim
legitimately the documents procured will not be only one person but for
both of us. I'm willing to share the funds 50/50 with you and this will be
completed within 72 hours. With the legal documents, the bank will approve
you as the Next of Kin and pay out this amount to you within three working
Please reach me as soon as possible with your full name, address, direct
contact number,Copy of any form of your ID card and occupation for the
processing of the legal documents if you are interested and can be trusted
to return my own share when you have received the funds in your account.
More information shall be given to you once I hear back from you.
If however you are not interested in the offer, kindly delete this message
from your mailbox and pretend that I never contacted you. I'll continue my
search for a liable person that will help me out, reply to this E-mail:
Mr Steve Adams
United Bank of Africa
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