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.
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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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- 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.
- 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: "HON. (DR.) SANI YAYA" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 08:37:42 +0100
Subject: Message From Ministry of Economy and Finance (Togolese Republic)
Ministre de l'Economie et des Finances | Togo
75572 Paris Cedex 12
B.P. 8000, LomÃ©, Togo
COMPLEMENT OF THE SEASONS : DECEMBER 17, 2021.
Following my appointment as Minister of Economy and Finance, by
President, Faure Essozimna GnassingbÃ© EyadÃ©ma. I have being specially
mandated by the President himself to make sure I use my position to
restore the good image and past glory of this country which has been
drag to the mood by some dishonest bank officials, and top government
Subject to this directive, my office has being directed to ensure that
all outstanding debt payment of contractors fund, next of kin claim is
looked into very carefully and payment of such long overdue debt paid
immediately through this office after a wild verification that the
beneficiary whose name like yours is the legal beneficiary of this
Your file has just been submitted to my table among the beneficiary
whose part payment of US$2.8Million United State Dollars as long
overdue for payment. You are as a matter of urgency requested to
forward your personal number, contact address, a copy of your
identification for administrative processing of this payment either
through following Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact
on WhatApp Number: +228 96 57 69 86
(1) Bank to Bank Online Transfer.
(2) ATM Card
HON. (DR.) Sani YAYA
Minister of Economy and Finance | (Togo)