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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ash Bauknight <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2022 02:48:11 -0700
Subject: ATTN; DEAR,
I am Mrs. JENNIFER JOHNSON ,the
United bank of Africa Staff poster department, I have registered
your ATM Visa CARD to
the POST OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC so that they will Post it to your home
address and I believe that your current address is still the same. Your
total amount in the envelope is $15.8 Million USD after exange rate.
and the POST OFFICE
assured me that there will be no stoppage until it get to your
hand.but they inform to me that you will make a little payment of $
75 USD Dollar for the transportation of the delivery Agent. I
want you to contact them and re- confirm your address where to Post
Contact Mr. , jerry simon
03 BP 1000,COTONOU
E-mail: ( email@example.com ]remember to provid
Your full information for the Postal.such as
FULL NAME: ==============
CURRENT HOME ADDRESS: ===========
TELEPHONE/CELL PHONE NUMBER.=========
SEX/A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION: ===============
the manager, informed me that it will take good 3 days to get to your
house and your Envelope accumulate. Your Current address has to be
reconfirmed! when contacting the post office.Thanks & REGARD MR JERRY SIMON
remeber to contact the director the director before making the payment
for him to direct you how to make the payment needed of the $75
Dollar. you can called his Lin..
+22953331884 or Email ..firstname.lastname@example.org