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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "processing 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. )
- "chambers" (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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: banking online <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2021 09:08:55 +0100
Subject: Treat As Matter Of Urgency
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY COMPLEX
SENATE HOUSE - UPPER CHAMBERS WUSE DISTRICT, COTONOU BENIN
Treat As Matter Of Urgency
I have to inform you again, that we are not playing over this, I know
my reason for the continuous sending of this notification to you, the
fact is that you can't seem to trust any one again over this payment
for what you have been in cantered in many months ago, but I want you
to trust me, I cannot scam you for $299 it is for bank processing of
your payment, the fees of $299 is clearly written to you before, I did
not invent the bill to defraud you of $299 it is an official bank
payment processing fee, and the good part of this, is that you will
never, ever be disturbed again over any kind of payment, this is
final, and the forms from there becomes effective once we submit your
payment application processing fee and pay the form fee of $299 I
don't want you to loose this fund this time, because you may never get
another such good opportunity, the federal government is keen and very
determined to pay your overdue debts, this is not a fluke, I would not
want you to loose this fund out of ignorance, I will send you all the
documents as soon as bank payment processing fee is paid, you have to
trust me, you will get your fund, find a way to get $299 you will not
loose it, instead it will bring your financial breakthrough, find the
money and send it to our bursary. The reason why am sending you this
because I want you to receive your USD 7.8M immediately we are trying
to round up for this payment program.
The processing charges which was initially on the high price has been
cut down by the payout bank considering the poor economic situations
that make it difficult for the middle class citizens to meet up with
the processing charges of their entitlement. Upon the confirmation of
your processing charges you will get your $7.8M into your account
Here is the payment information through RIA money transfer only,
finally my advice to you is not to abandon this transaction because of
the requirement of ($299) send the fee through RIA money transfer.
Receivers name: SANDRA NEKA
Country:Cotonou Benin Republic
Text Question: When
Amount required: $299
Phone Number +229 9494 2693
ADDRESS: Rue du Gouverneur Fourn,Cotonou
Your full banking details to avoid wrong transfer:
NAME OF YOUR BANK:
BANK ADDRESS :
As soon as the payment is received today, you will receive your $7.8M
the same today without any delay.
Mrs. Mary Vivian
Email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )