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:
- 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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.J.ODELL" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2021 21:52:14 +0100
Subject: MY DEAR/YOUR ATM CARD PAYMENT IS AVAILABLE NOW
Head Office RUE 84, ABAPKA MISERBO
COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC,
MR PAUL JOHNSON.ATM CARD PAYMENT MANAGER OF THE UBA,
BANK PLC COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC.
Attention;The owner of this email id.
This is to officially inform you that your (ATM Card
Number;4278763100030014) has been accredited in your favor.Your
Personal Identification Number is 2900.Your ATM Card Value is
$2.6MILLION USD.You are here by please advice to contact the ATM card
payment managing Director Mr.Paul Johnson, With Details Below:
Contact Person: Mr.Paul Johnson Office Number: +234-9137079432 Contact
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Fill the form below
and ask Mr.Paul Johnson to activate your ATM card on your name and
send it to you without delay.