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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. Steven T. Mnuchin" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 22:52:37 +0100
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF YOUR PAYMENT VIA ATM VISA CARD
NOTIFICATION OF YOUR PAYMENT VIA ATM VISA CARD
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract
file presently on my desk Your ATM Card $4.800.000.0 USD has been
approved and was deposited with DHL Delivery Company this morning for
registration, And we agreed up that the delivery of Your $4.800.000.0
Million USD ATM The package will take off tomorrow morning. So contact
with your full info where your ATM card will be delivered to.
(1) Full name---------
(2) Mobile Number:--------------
(3) Direct telephone number------
(4) Country of origin:--------
(5) Your Current delivery address:----
(6) Occupation/ age/ sex-----
(7) City -------------------
8) Nearest Airport------------------
We shall post your ATM Card once you update us with the above info and
you shall be given a tracking number, that is, the Track and Trace
number of your parcel once it is posted to your mailing address, so as
to enable you to track your parcel to know exactly when it will arrive
at your mailing address. Urgently get back to us today with your full
address to where your ATM card Will is delivered to because I will not
be in the office next week. The amount on your Card is US4.800.000.0
Million and your Pin code is: (9106).
Remain blessed as I'll be looking forward to receiving your immediate response.
Mr. Steven T. Mnuchin
Contact Phone Number: +1 (406) 505-8299
Email Address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Postman, Regular Mail Post Office Cotonou Benin.