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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CORREIOS <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2023 16:15:48 -0700
Subject: Do correio
Correios -Rep?blica de Cotonou Benin.
Endere?o: 20/22 Hospital Route Cotonou Benin Republic.
T?:(+229 99 24 06 50
Telex:(+229 99 24 06 50
Re: Correios -Rep?blica de Cotonou Benin com urg?ncia para evitar a expira??o.
Do correio regular Rep?blica do Benin. Informamos que existe neste balc?o um Cart?o Multibanco depositado por uma entidade de organiza??o privada no dia 30 de Mar?o de 2023
Seu endere?o de e-mail foi anexado a ele e ser? enviado a voc?. Esperamos que voc? entre em contato conosco para obter o seu Cart?o Multibanco conforme, que cont?m a quantia de $ 800.000 em d?lares dos Estados Unidos e alguns documentos vitais. Por favor, volte a este escrit?rio (Regular Mail Post office Benin Republic) para evitar problemas fraudulentos relativos a este servi?o.
Voc? deve confirmar e nos fornecer seu endere?o postal abaixo. firstname.lastname@example.org
Seu nome completo..........
seu endere?o postal.....
Seu telefone direto........
Nota: que cada reclama??o tem um prazo de vencimento de quatorze dias ?teis, ent?o voc? tem isso com muita urg?ncia para evitar a expira??o.
Pessoa de contato
Sr. Pedro Carlos