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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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: "Mrs.Grace Johnson," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 May 2020 13:04:01 +0100
Subject: Re.Is urgent in regard to your ATM MASTER CARD,
I write to apologize to you regarding to our past delay and kind of
send back for not completed the delivery of your overdue payment sum
of $3,500,000 USD due to some governmental issues as we have over here
for the past one year now,
Please for your information we are hereby to bring the good news to
you that the said total fund has been converted into an ATM MASTER
CARD to be delivering to you as soon as you comply with this office
and contact the office of Mr. Peter Ezenna in regarding to the
delivering to your home address you are advice to furnish him with
your current delivering information to able them proceed on the
delivering immediately. Kindly understand that with this process the
delivering will cost you the sum of $250 usd only once again donât
forget to forward to him your Full Name Home Address and Phone Number
for urgent delivering,
Name: Mr.Peter Ezenna
Director Federal Ministry Of,
Finance Benin Republic Federal
Ministry Of Finance Benin Republic,