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:
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Pastor Paul Harry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 18:11:30 +0100
Subject: Re: Re; Your Payment Notice.
Hello My Dear,
I am indeed glad to be in contact with you even though this medium of communication (internet) has been grossly abused by criminal minded people making it difficult for people with genuine intention struggle to correspond and exchange views without skepticism.
This is to inform you based on the present anti-fraud/scam war that is correctly going on globally in Africa, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ) Anti-Fraud Teams in conjuction with World Bank are making sure that Financial Fraud is Completely wiped out from Africa and beyond as they are working to restrict cyber-crime.
In this regard, about Eighty-Six (86) banks and government officials have been arrested across Africa since this year who tried to divert peoples funds for their personal use. The Commission have recovered the total sum of US$ 2.1 Billion dollars from these scammers both cash and assets confirmed to have come from their victims in Europe, Asia and Americans who have lost their money trying to do business in Africa and some lost their inherited funds of cheque and ATM CARD payment.
Thousands of email addresses with names in concluding yours where found in there address books. It is at this juncture the Commission decided to compensate you people as the beneficiary of 2017 batch "A."
NOTE: You are now to receive $1,200,000.00 dollars by cash or wired bank transfer. So I HEREBY ADVISED you to Disassociate Yourself from any form of Communication with Individuals, Banks, cor-operate bodies and Government Officials if happen you already in contact with any one and Follow my Guidelines to receive your payment without delay or hinderance.
Pastor Paul Harry
C/100, Godomey, Cotonou
Republic of Benin