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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Joseph Philip" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2022 10:37:13 +0100
Subject: Re - Change of Funds Ownership.
*Re - Change of Funds Ownership.This is to bring to your notice that the
President of Benin Republic,President Patrice Talon has constituted a 10
man investigative Panel and foreign Debts reconciliation committee, which I
am the Chairman of the presidential committee saddled with the
responsibility to investigate all the banks here in Benin Republic, who has
trapped and held beneficiaries Compensation/inheritance/NNPC contract Fund
claims unpaid.To settle all the Foreign debt after his recent Telephone
conversation with the World Bank and other officials of the United Nation
to enable him give a zero tolerance to corruption in his regime. I am
solely in charge of all foreign payments. At the commencement of my
official responsibility geared towards payment to foreign beneficiaries. I
received a letter that your unclaimed approved payment by the Central Bank
of Benin Republic which has been overdue for payment should now be paid to
Gary Johnson Lee from your Country.In the said letter titled change of
Beneficiary/Ownership. Its clearly stated that you are dead and that he is
your next of kin, it went further to say you signed a deed and an agreement
with Gary Johnson Lee to become your beneficiary before your untimely
death. Officially arrangement had been concluded for the approved funds
transfer into his account.But because of the elaborate global scam, I
decided to contact you first for confirmation before transferring the funds
and if after two working days, no response is received from you, it will be
assumed that you are dead and as such authorization and approval will be
granted on behalf of Gary Johnson Lee to claim/receive your fund.But if you
are well and alive then confirm this letter and reconfirm your Information
without any further delay. Send your responses to me immediately by
email.Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm.Full
Name:Address:Nationality:Sex:Age:Date of Birth:Occupation:Mobile
Phone:Driver's license or any copy of Your Identity:Please feel free to
contact me here only for further clarifications regarding this matter.*
*Please call me on my Telephone Number: +22962425091 once you get this
*Dr. Joseph Philip*
*Deputy Governor,Financial System StabilityCentral Bank of Benin.Tinubu
square,Cotonou- Benin Republic.*