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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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: OAU <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 22:01:43 -0700
Subject: OAU COMPENSATION FUND TO YOU
Attention my dear,
Information just reached to this office from West African representatives over the scams you went through in the past in African region most especially in Cotonou Benin Republic /Nigeria Ghana and Burkina-Faso and also in United States Of America where they has partners . Please kindly send your full house address and phone number so that we can proceed . This Organization is been set up by all African Country's Ambassadors in USA to handle refunding to all African Scam victims .
This commission will pay back all the money you lost in the past as long as Africa is involved . We have 150,000,000 USD (One Hundred And Fifty Million United States Dollars) from all the Presidents in Africa just to pay back to those who lost their hard earned money to the African scam artists . Kindly reply back with the details you can remember so that your payment will commence. Email us back on this : firstname.lastname@example.org
MR. GEORGE IBE
PHONE : +22998429596
ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNIT COTONOU BENIN