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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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: FedEx COURIER SERVICE COMPANY <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 23:16:15 +0000
Subject: ATTENTION To The Final Fund Release Order..
Attention Dearest Customer:
Compliment of the day our dear eligible customer:,
First of all we are very sorry for the inconvenience of this letter in
case you are alive, please we need confirmation!, Now to start with
I'm Mr. Frank Wilson,the New appointed Director General of the(FedEx
COURIER COMPANY) in BENIN REPUBLIC' West Africa, So I due respect and
humbled to write you this very letter for we to know the fact of all
this information as it sound so bitter to our ear when we heard about
this ugly news that you had a terrible disease accident called (CORONA
VIRUS) that lead you to death, that is the Cause you're Silent since.
Meanwhile we heard this very ugly news from your (next of kin) as she
claimed (Mrs. Blessing) by name who told us that you had a terrible
disease accident called CORONA VIRUS that lead you to death, but is
unfortunate that you couldn't succeed for the incident after rushing
you to the hospital.
Therefore she flight down here in Benin Republic yesterday and stated
that she is your NEXT OF KIN and that she came for your over due
payment funds and she lamented and complain that you have invested a
lot of money in other to receive it but you didn't succeed on it,
However we apologize and need your urgent reply and immediately
confirmation to us today, If what we heard is true or false otherwise
we will believe with her So Please to avoid big mistake, due to
peoples use so ways fraudulent and dumping so many companies and banks
here in Africa, even some use the names of banks and companies to scam
peoples, so do kindly reply if you are alive to enable us to know our
next action in releasing those funds to her as your next of kin
And again we do required for your confirmation here if true you are
1: Your New Address:...........
2: Direct telephone Number:..........
3: Who is Mrs. Blessing Meyer to you:...........?
Finally she is willing to pay the fee that is needed on this
delivering of your fund in fact if all this stories is true, May your
soul rest in perfect peace(R.I.P) as we will further proceed with your
next kin to deliver those funds to her as she claimed it okay. Do
contact to my Email:(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yours in service.
Mrs. Maria Sadiq ESQ:
Financial Minister Federal Republic Of Benin: