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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (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: MRS GRACE EGOULO BOYI <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2021 05:24:20 -0700
Subject: PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND WHY I AM SEEKING FOR YOUR HELP.
My Dear Good Friend
I crave your indulgence at this mail coming from somebody like me,
whom you do not know before. I decided to do this after praying over
my present Situation. You should please consider the transaction on
its content and not the fact that you have not known me before. I need
not dwell on how I came by your contact information because there are
many such possibilities these days. I would like to introduce myself
as MRS.GRACE EGOULO BOYI, from Republic of Benin in West Africa, a
widow to Late MR.DAVID EGOULO BOYI a former Consular of the Benin
I have recently been diagnosed of Cancer of the Pelvic and attending
my medical treatment at St Victoria Private Clinic here in Benin
Republic. I am writing to you now from my sick bed because of how this
transfer is urgent to me. There is US$18.5 (Eighteen Million Five
Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) my husband has in an account
with the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK here in Cotonou Benin Republic, of
which I am the next of kin.
With my health condition and because my husband and I have no
children, I am looking for a credible person that will not betrayed me
whom i will pass the right of next of kin. This person will apply to
the bank and request for an immediate release of the fund to his/her
bank account. This is on the condition that you will take only 30% of
the fund for yourself, while you will use the remaining 70% for the
less Privilege people in the society.
This is in fulfillment of the last request of my husband: that a
Substantial part of the fund be used to carter for the less
privileged. If this condition is acceptable to you; you should get
back to me immediately With your full names and contact information as
indicated below so that I Will use your contact to write to my bank
here immediately to inform them That my appointed next of kin will
contact them for an immediate release Of the fund so that they will be
ready waiting for you to contact them.
Kindly send your information immediately as stated below.
1. Your Full Name/ Full Address
2. Your Age/ Sex
3. Your Marital Status
4. Your Occupation
5. Your Mobile Number
Thank you and God bless you and your family,
KINDLY REPLY ME ON THIS EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Best Regards,
MRS.GRACE EGOULO BOYI