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:
- 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:
- "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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.David Kamau." <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2021 13:31:30 +0100
Subject: CONFIRM THIS TO ME FAST!!!!
MINISTER OF FINANCE(MOF)
CARRIER CRESCENT,COTONOU.BENIN REPUBLIC.
I am Mr.David Kamau, minister of finance (M.A.R),I monitor offices and
control the affairs of all banks and financial institutions in Benin
republic concerned foreign contract payments. I am the final signatory
to all foreign transfers of huge funds moving within banks both the
local and international levels in line to foreign contracts
settlement. I have before me the list of foreign contract payment
files, which are due to be transferred to their nominated accounts.
Meanwhile, we identified some of these accounts to be ghost accounts,
unclaimed deposits and over invoiced sum etc. I wish to have a deal
with you as regards to the unpaid fund. I have a file before me and
hope the date's are correct and UN-tampered. As it is my duty to
recommend the transfer of these surplus fund to the Federal Government
Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed deposit. I have the
opportunity to write you based on the instruction I received two days
ago from the senate committee on contract payment/foreign debts to
submit the list of payment reports expenditures and audited reports of
revenues. Among several others, I have decided to remit the total sum
of â¬15.2 million following the idea that we have a deal/agreement and
I am going to per fact the paperwork legally.
1.You will have to provide foreign account where the funds will be transferred.
2.This deal must be kept secret forever, and all correspondence will
be strictly by private email /telephone for security purposes.
3.There should be no other third parties as most problems associated
with such payments are caused by their agents or representatives. If
you AGREE with my Conditions, contact me directly through this email
address;(firstname.lastname@example.org) will advise you on the next line
of action and immediately the funds transfer will commence without
further delay as I would proceed to fix your name on the payment
schedule instantly within the next 5 working days.
NOTE:DUE TO THE HIGH RATES OF INTERNET SCAMMERS,IF YOU ARE REPLYING TO
THIS EMAIL,DO WRITE "YOUR BROTHER" AT THE SUBJECT OF YOUR REPLY ,THAT
SERVES AS OUR SECRET CODE FOR THIS TRANSACTION,BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT
YOU TO FALL VICTIM OF ANY CIRCUMSTANCES