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:
- 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.
- 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: post office Benin Du Republic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2023 16:00:45 +0100
Subject: FROM UNITED NATION COMPENSATION UNIT
Post Office -Benin Republic.
Address: Plaza del Rey No. 1 28004 Benin Republic
Phone, +229 90 988 967
Re: Post Office -Republic Du Benin need you urgently to avoid expiration.
From the regular mail post office Benin Republic, Be informed that there
is a parcel which contains an ATM Card in this office deposited by a
private organization body on the 6th of September, 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 â¬800,000 Euro and some vital documents. So
kindly get back to this office (Regular Mail Post office Benin Du Republic)
to avoid fraudulent issues concerning this service.
You are to confirm and provide to us your postal address below with
this email address;;;;;;; email@example.com
Your full name..........
Your postal address.....
Your direct phone........
Note: that every claim has an expiring period of fourteen working day,
so you have that very urgently to avoid expiration.
Your best regard