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:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +229 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: Mr frank edoo <"www."@mist.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mr frank edoo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:44:49 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATTENTION >ATTENTION
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the courier charges and the
delivery of your ATM CARD.
I paid it because the ATM CARD worth USD$6.8M
has less three weeks and four days to expire and when it expires the money will
go into Government reserve.
With that I decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM CARD will not
expire, because I know when you get your ATM CARD definitely you must
compensate me. Now your ATM CARD has been deposited with DHL Courier Company
for delivery so I want you to contact DHL Courier Company with your Full
Contact information so that they can deliver your ATM CARD to your designated
address without any delay.
Your Full Name:...
Like I stated earlier, the delivery charges has been paid but i did not pay
their official keeping fees since they refused. Reasons for their refusal are
because they do not know when you are going to contaCT
Contact Person: MR frank edoo
DHL Delivery Service
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid mistake on the delivery.
I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm it to them again
to avoid any mistake in the delivering including with your ID or Picture.
Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive the package box contains US$6.8
MILLION .US dollar
Ask Mr.FRANK Edoo DHL Courier Company Director How you Can Send to Them There
Official Security Keeping Fees Which Is Only $130 dollar.only 150 i said.ok
Contact Today to avoid increase of their keeping fees and let me know once you
receive your ATM CARD.
From MRS EVLin ALEX.
The General Payment
Contractor of Federal REPUBLIC OF BENIN REP.
informations for the fee
NAME ...UBA GABO
COUNTRY ...BENIN REPUBLIC