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:
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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: united desk <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2021 07:08:48 +0000
Subject: HELLO DEAR
I am Mrs. Clare Peterson, from Australia I am married to late Mr. Georg Peterson, who worked with TOTAL OIL in Benin Republic for Twenty-Six years before he dies in the year 2009,after a brief illness that lasted for only five days.
We were married for Eighteen years with a daughter (Lillian)who later died in a motor accident. Before the untimely death of my husband, since after his death I decided not to remarry When my late husband was alive, he deposited the sum of USD $1.5M (One Million, five hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in a General Trust Account with a prime bank in Cotonou Benin republic Presently, this money is still with the bank.
Recently, following my ill health, my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next eight months due to my cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual or organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, according to the desire of my late husband before his death.
I want this fund to be used in Activities like, Orphanages, widows, and displaced children. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are unbelievers.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development, as soon as I receive your reply, I shall give you the contact of the bank in Cotonou. I will also issue you the documents that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated here in. Hoping to receive your reply
in this my emails address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks, and god bless you,
Mrs. Clare Peterson.