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:
- "required fee " (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Glen Moore" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2022 22:27:38 -0700
Subject: Hello Dear.!
We have already programmed the first payment of $4,500 USD out of the
total funds of $2.5M USD for immediate release to you. And we can't
be able to do that due to the Authorization Release Permit required in
order to enable us to do so.
Track with our Website:
MTCN Tracking Number: 014-733-2537
Sender's Name: Gary Pedro
Amount: $4,500 USD
What we required from you now is to secure Authorization Release
Permit, which is going to cost you $50 USD (only) please be aware that
this is the only charges/fees, as soon this is done, your first
payment of $4,500 USD will be release to you in less than 45 Mins for
Use our cashier's under-listed information to remit the required fee
to Obtain the requested Authorization Release Permit; Or you can buy
iTunes card send copy with receipt.
Receiver's Name: Phino Johnson
Country: Benin Republic
Required Amount: $50.USD only
We thank you for your perceived understanding and apparently your
highest level of cooperation.
Mr. Glen Moore
you can massage me on whataspple Phone: +229-60334492