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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: john eko <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:53:21 +0100
Subject: Please Call Me If You Can.
CHIEF AUDITOR MINISTRY OF FINANCE ECONOMICS
Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a surprise and if it
might offend you without your prior consent and writing through this
I am JOHN EKO CHIEF AUDITOR MINISTRY OF FINANCE ECONOMICS COTONOU-BENIN
REPUBLIC. I got your information when I was searching for a reliable,
honest and trustworthy person to entrust this business with.I was simply
inspired and motivated to pick your contact from the many names and lists
in the website.
I wish to transfer the sum of $14,300,000.00 USD (Fourteen Million Three
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only.into your personal or company`s
This fund was a residue of the over invoiced Industrial Contract bills
awarded by MINISTRY OF FINANCE ECONOMICS COTONOU-BENIN REPUBLIC to some
This DEAL was deliberately hatched out and carefully protected with all the
attendant lope holes sealed off.As the chief auditor,I have the cooperation
and mandate of the Financial Director and the Secretary. It was my
consensus to seek the assistance of a willing foreigner to provide us with
the facilities to transfer this money out of West Africa.This is borne out
of our believe in the non-stable and porous political nature of this
The original contractors have been duly paid by the Banque Centrale Des
Etats De L`Afrique De L`Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States)This
balance is suspended in the escrow accounts awaiting claims by any foreign
company of our choice.I intend to pay out this fund now as the
organization is winding up its activities.
Based on the laws and ethics of employment,we as civil servants working
under this organization, are not allowed to operate a foreign account.This
is the more reason why we needed your assistance to provide an account that
can sustain this fund for safe keeping and our future investment with your
comprehensive advise,assistance and partnership in your country.
I have however agreed,as the account owner in this deal to allow you 40% of
the entire sum as compensation,why 55% will be held on trust for me while
5% will be used to defray any incidental charges and cost if any.
Upon the receipt of your information, the certificate of job completion of
one of the contracts will be issued in your for the transferring of the
fund to your nominated account without delay.
As with the case of all organized (sensitive)and conspired DEALS, we
solicit for your unreserved confidentiality and utmost secret in this
We hope to retire peacefully and lead a honorable business life afterward.
There are no risks involved.
MR JOHN EKO.