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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- 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)
- this email only on this email address : email@example.com contact with this information below: contact person: dr. (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "WWW.WESTERUNIONTRANSFERUNIT" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 00:29:54 -0700
Subject: Bank of Benin Republic CREDIT Transaction of your willed funds by the
Government of this country
Bank of Benin Republic CREDIT Transaction for those who have been scam
victims in west-Africa (Benin - Republic ) listed all names to be
I am Mr. Romuald Wadagni from Ministry Of Finance Cotonou (Head office)this
is to bring to you notice that after the conference meeting we had,
The Government of this country realized that you are among those that
involved in scam victim we have in our list to Compensate by the
government of this country as instructions from United Nation(UN)The
Governor of this state Cotonou Benin - Republic has instructed this
office to forward your file to WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
to pay you the sum of US$1.200,000.00 through WESTERN UNION.
His Excellence the GOVERNOR has instructed the WESTERN payment
department Dr. Henry James to send the sum of US$1.200,000.00 through
his custody for easy receiver of your funds. You are to contact them
now to ensure that your fund will be transferring to you once you send
them the needed information to avoid wrong transaction.According to
the demands of WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER you are to receive your
fund at the installment rate of $5,000.00 daily until the
US$1.200,000.00 is completely transferred to you accordingly. You
areto contact them now with the bellow information to avoid wrong
Reconfirm your address
(1)Your Full name:....
(2)Your Phone number:...
(3)Your Contact address:...
Listen very carefully, Tell Dr. Henry James that you advise to contact
him by Mr. Romuald Wadagni from Ministry Of Finance here in Cotonou
Benin - Republic:
Don't Forget To Reply This Email Only on this Email address :
Contact with this information below:
CONTACT PERSON: DR. HENRY JAMES
Direct e-mail Contact : email@example.com
PHONE NUMBER: +229 51 032305
Address: 12 Avenue Island streets, Cotonou, Benin - Republic
IF YOU RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE IN SPAM, KINDLY KNOW THAT IT IS A NETWORK PROBLEM.
Mr Romuald Wadagni
F.A in Ministry of Finance
Benin - Republic
Please, do not forget to update me as soon as you receive your first payment.
Mr Romuald wadagni Direct e-mail:.. firstname.lastname@example.org