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. )
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mr.Charles Konan" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 13:49:03 -0700
Address Avenue Jean-Paul
II PO Box 01 BP n 325
I am Mr.Charles Konan Banny from BCEAO BANK Benin Republic, FUND CLEARANCE UNIT
We are in receipt of your compensation Fund worth $250,000.00 Usd (Two
hundred thousand United State Dollars) from UNITED NATION FOR SCAM
ALLEVIATION AND COVID19 RELIEVE PROGRAM 2021,You are one of selected
individuals to receive this 2nd phase of the relieve program We are
mandated to further transfer the compensation fund into your nominated
bank account,Cashier Cheque nor ATM Debit card as approve by
International Banking Rule.
You are by this message advice to make a choice on the process you
wish to receive
our FUND, Make sure that you reach us within the next 24 to 48
Banking hours so that we can release your total fund to you without
any further delay.
Note that all the fees has been paid by United Nation in conjunction
with European Union (EU), UNITED STATES AMERICA (USA) And Africa Union
(AU) execpt only the $150 which you have to pay before receiving your
Receivers name:== OLIVETTE KIKI
COUNTRY BENIN REPUBLIC
Text question: How
Text answer: Today
Receivers address: AV 27 STREET BENIN REPUBLIC
End your details such as Your Home Address,phone number date of birth and
I look forward hearing from you.
Mr.Charles Konan Banny
phone : +