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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Zonal Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 22:18:12 -0800
Subject: YOUR MONEY
This is to notify you that your Email ID has luckily won the sum of
Sixty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States
Dollars ($65,850,000.00) in the British-West African 2021 Online
Lottery Draw held here in West Africa on 5th August 2021.
Note: ALL Participants in this Lottery Program have been selected
randomly through a computer ballot system drawn from over 10,000,000
individuals and 5,000,000 companies email addresses from all search
engines and web sites globally.
This program is being sponsored by the FIFA SUPPORT TEAM and other
Multinational Companies around the world to create awareness for the
coming 2022 FIFA world Cup Finals, which is to be hosted by Republic
To file for your Claim, kindly contact our agent in West African
Cotonou Benin Republic call our Processing Director
Barr Akeem Moses
Tel: +229 90746489
And furnish him with your contact details such as below.
(1). Your Full Name:..........................
(2). Your Present Address:...........................
(3). Your Country:........ ..........................
(4). Your Date of Birth:...............................
(5). Your Occupation:..................................
(6). Your Mobile:.........................
(8). Your Marital Status:.....
(9). Your Winning Reference No: B-SA/2010/00XB/EFC/10:
(10)Your Batch No: 34526770/060001.
Mrs.Helen Egobia (Zonal Coordinator)