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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "western union" (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. )
- "moneygram" (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. )
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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. Herbert Bernard" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 01:03:56 -0800
Subject: It's Urgent
FROM THE DESK OF MORGAN OWEN DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE
20 INTERPOL SUIT COTONOU, REPUBLIC DU BENIN.
11 GARIKA ROAD COTONOU REPUBLIC DU BENIN.
Attn: Dear Beneficiary
You are welcome to desk of Chief Hon, Morgan Owen International
Interpol Police Force Investigating Unit here in Benin Rep West
Africa, We are Working together towards a corruption-free world by
promoting and defending integrity, justice and the rule of law Mission
statement of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, We cover all
the Countries in the World. You have report today from United State
Ambassador. This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our
notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help
of our INTERPOL Intelligence Monitoring
Network System And Homeland Security that you are having an illegal
transaction with Impostors claiming to be Central Bank, D.H.L Express
and some impostors claiming to be the Department of FedEx courier
company, Western Union or MoneyGram. During our Investigation, it came
to our notice that the reason why you have not received your payment
is because you are dealing with criminals and pretenders and also have
not fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of
your Contract/Inheritance Payment.
Therefore, After the meeting with the world leaders and all the
common wealth leaders and Benin Rep President and all Africa
Government and Federal Ministry Of Finance on your behalf and they
have brought a solution to your problem by coordinating your payment
in the total amount of ( US$2,250,000.00 ) Two Million Two Hundred and
Fifty Thousand united states dollars, for compensation of scam victims
and all the money you spend in the hand of impostors in Africa and in the
world at large through internet, So government has issued us your
international bank check that value two million two hundred and fifty
thousand dollars on your behalf and you will cash the bank check in
any bank anywhere in the world. You have the lawful right to claim
your funds now.
Since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been involved in
this transaction, You are now to be rest assured that this transaction
is legitimate and completely risk-free as it is our duty to Protect
and Serve citizens of Common Wealth Country.
All you have to do is immediately contact the Director of
compensation Payment center in OKLAHOMA CITY UNITED STATE OF AMERICA
his Name is MR. Herbert Bernard.
call or SMS : +1(813) 537-3834
Ask him to send you the total cash check of US$2,250,000.00 dollars
for scam victims compensation for all the money you lost in the past
in the hands of fraudsters. Feel free and get in touch with the
Director of payment center and instruct him where to send the amount
to you, send him your contact address and your contact telephone
numbers. Do it fast before the cash check expires.
Finally, remember that we had forwarded instruction to the Director on
your behalf to receive that CASH CHECK, so feel free to get in touch
with Mr. Herbert Bernard the common wealth payment officer he will
send the CHECK to you without any delay, You have hereby been
authorized/guaranteed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and
CIA AND Joint with Interpol police force to commence towards
completing this transaction.
Note: Do disregard any email you get from any impostor or office
claiming to be in possession of your FUND, you are advised only to be
in contact with Mr. Herbert Bernard who is the rightful person you
are suppose to deal with in regards of your check PAYMENT and forward
any email you get from any impostors to this office so we will act
upon and commence investigation.
Image result from USA task force chief
FROM THE DESK OF Morgan Owen
DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE BENIN REPUBLIC.