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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: EVAN COTTMAN <"WWW."@able.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: EVAN COTTMAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2017 07:35:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: A pleasant day to you
A pleasant day to you
My name is EVAN COTTMAN. I am a US humanitarian activist/diplomat on a working
visit to the Republic of Benin. My US ID has been attached to this mail as a proof of my personality.On a visit to the Benin republic
minister of finance, I stumbled upon your unremitted $2.9 million
scam-victim compensation file. Sometime last year, the United Nation
sanctioned the government of Benin for not taking enough measure to
curb the huge number of fraudulent activities going on within its
shores. It was mandated to identify and compensate all fraud victims
or their next of kin with the sum of $2.9 million each. You were
identified as either a fraud victim or a next of kin to one.
When I asked the minister why you have not been compensated yet, he
told me that you were declared dead because the ministry had sent
several unreplied mails to you. On learning about this, I had to
contact you so you could do the needful and get
what is yours.
All you are required to do is to send across your
and the sum of $145 only for the Activation Release Order of your payment file and bank transfer charge
As soon as this is done, I will personally transfer the $2.9 million to your designated bank account.
I urge you to reply now so I can send you my Personal Assistants details so you can send the fee .
I will also provide my US ID card as a proof of my personality when you reply.
Thanks for your time