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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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: "Mrs. Lynda Michael" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 May 2018 16:13:57 +0100
Subject: Re: Re: Payment of $1,200,000.00
How are you doing?
This is to inform you that the Board of Directors of the paying bank, has ordered there Foreign Remittance Unit of International Commecial Bank (ICB) or United Bank for Africa (UBA) to remittance the payment compensation of the $1,200,000.00 dollars to you to avoid much expenses in your coming down to Cotonou Republic of Benin for the payment.
All you need to do, is to get the final approval by contacting the lawyer incharge who is going to monitor your payment with full guarantee against anybody who will try to scam you.
So therefore, you are advise to kindly contact Barrister Jacques Hans for details to avoid the funds not to be declare unclaimed and return to the commission should in case you fail to meet up this time as the instruction giving by the Group as I have contacted you 3 times with regards to this matter..
Foreign Payment Credit Centre
C/36, Zone Fifa, Cotonou,
Republic of Benin West Africa
Tel: +229 65 03 27 5
Contact Person: Barrister Jacques Hans
Contact the above immediately to re-claim your payment as my official leave will start tomorrow. Also let me know once you reach him
Mrs. Lynda Michael