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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Post Office agent" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 14:20:01 -0700
Subject: From Post Office for your delivery 116
Post Office -Cotonou Benin Republic.
Address: 20/22 Hospital Route Cotonou Benin Republic.
T?:(+229 99 24 06 50
Telex :(+229 99 24 06 50
Re: Post Office -Cotonou Benin Republic urgently to avoid expiration.
From the regular mail post office Benin Republic. This is to inform you that there is an ATM Card in this office deposited by a private organization body.on the 29th of June, 2022
Your e-mail address was attached to it and is to be posted to you. We have been waiting for you to contact us for your conformable ATM Card which contains the sum of $800,000 United State Dollars and some vital documents. So kindly get back to this office here ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) (Regular Mail Post office Benin Republic) to avoid fraudulent issues concerning this service.
You are to confirm and provide to us your postal address below.
Your full name..........
Your postal address.....
Your direct phone........
Note: that every claim has an expiring period of fourteen working days, so you have that very urgently to avoid expiration..
Your best regard
Mr. Peter Charles
Post Office agent