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:
- 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:
- "bank charges " (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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "accredited attorney" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- 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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: CORIS BANK ATM CARD <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2021 06:03:20 -0700
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT CODE:(147118)
CORIS BANK ATM WORLDWIDE SERVICES AND SOLUTION CENTER.
HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS: TROIS BANQUES AVENUE PAPE JEAN PAUL I, COTONOU, BENIN.
THIS IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF YOUR EMAIL AND YOUR INFORMATION,
MY NAME IS MR. EKON MAXWELL MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CORIS BANK
INTERNATIONAL ATM CARD PROCESSING UNIT,YOUR PAYMENT OF $3,500,000-00
WAS RELEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN
THROUGH THE HELP OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND IT'S READY TO BE PAID TO
YOU THROUGH ATM CARD. WE HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED TO PAY YOU THIS AMOUNT
BY SENDING YOU OUR ATM CARD FULLY LOADED WITH YOUR PAYMENT OF
$3,500,000-00.THE ATM CARD WILL COME TOGETHER WITH THE PIN CODE AND
YOU WILL BE ALLOW TO WITHDRAW A MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF $10,000-00 DAILY
FROM ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD.
THE UNITED NATIONS HAS PAID FOR ALL THE NECESSARY CHARGES ON YOUR
BEHALF,MEANING THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY ANY BANK CHARGES FOR THE
HANDLING/PROCESSING TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND ANYMORE AS YOU HAVE MET UP
WITH THE WHOLE REQUIREMENTS; THE ONLY THING REQUIRED FROM YOU IS TO
OBTAIN YOUR AFFIDAVIT FROM THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE HERE IN
BENIN REPUBLIC TO ENHANCE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE RELEASE AND SENDING
OF YOUR ATM CARD TO YOU.
WE ARE NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY US ANY FEE AS THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS PAID US FOR HANDLING/PROCESSING OF YOUR
COMPENSATION PAYMENT. OUR ACCREDITED ATTORNEY WILL HELP YOU OBTAIN
THE AFFIDAVIT CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP WITH JUST ($50 DOLLARS) FROM THE
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE FOR IMMEDIATE SENDING OF YOUR ATM CARD OF
(US$3,500,000.00) THREE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES
DOLLARS TO YOU.
SHOULD YOU FOLLOW UP OUR DIRECTIVES,YOUR ATM CARD WILL BE DELIVER TO
YOUR ADDRESS WITHIN THREE BANK WORKING DAYS FROM THE DAY YOU OBTAIN
THIS AFFIDAVIT CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP.
IT WILL COST YOU ONLY $50 USD TO ENABLE OUR ACCREDITED ATTORNEY OBTAIN
THE AFFIDAVIT CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP FROM THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE. YOU ARE
THEREFORE ADVICE TO SEND THE $50 DOLLARS WITH INFORMATION BELOW
THROUGH WORLD REMMIT, SMALL WORLD OR RIA MONEY TRANSFER.
RECEIVER'S NAME:..JAMES MIKE
COUNTRY: BENIN REPUBLIC
AMOUNT: $50 DOLLARS
CONTACT NUMBER CALL +229 521 111 43
WE ARE WAITING YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO ENABLE THIS ATM PAYMENT
CENTER PROCEEDS IMMEDIATELY WITH THE SENDING OF YOUR ATM CARD TO YOUR
ADDRESS AND SERVE YOU BETTER. IN THE OTHER HANDS, THE FUNDS CAN BE
TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT THROUGH BANK TO BANK WIRE TRANSFER.
MR. EKON MAXWELL
MANAGING DIRECTOR CORIS BANK INTERNATIONAL.