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.
- 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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 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: "Mr. Leonard Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:22:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Your Visa Card ($800,000 USD)
Hello My Friend ,
How are you doing.
I write with regards to your Email Online winning prize money of $800,000.00 USD, which you are yet to claim. I was shock that you have not respond my message to you or are you not alive?
I want to let you know that, this will be my last message to you on this matter should in case you fail to follow this instruction to get your benefit. Because of the transfer policy has obligated by the transfer bank and Ministry of Economics and Finance of this country, to avoid you in paying much tax that will arise from European Union Commission, I am happy to inform you today that your fund has been Credited into ATM Visa Card and drop with Ms. Juliet Grace for you to collect from her.
Like I said above, you are advice to contact Ms. Juliet Grace to enble you collect your card from her. This was done, because of the transfer reason giving above.However, forward your address to her if you cannot go there to collect it in person to avoid wrong delivery of your parcel. So,forward the following information Your Name, Your Delivery Address, Your Phone Number.
Contact: Ms. Juliet Grace
Cotonou Benin Republic.
His email: email@example.com
Contact her immediately to receive your payment card as I am on my way out of the country and will not be chance to check my mail for a long while.
Mr. Leonard Johnson