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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: DR PAUL OWEN <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 20:05:14 +0100
Subject: How are you doing? hope fine.
DR PAUL OWEN
African Development Bank
Republic Du Benin Cotonou
Dear Good Friend,
How are you doing? hope fine.
I am Auditor General in African Development Bank Republic Du Benin On
my routine inspection I discovered a dormant domiciliary account with
the deposit of ($9.6Million USD) by late Mr Khalead Guei without any
heir. I write to seek your indulgence and assistance in moving this
funds to your country through legal means.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I now seek
your consent to present you as the next of kin Of the deceased since
you a foreigner, so that the Proceeds of this account valued at
$9.6million Dollars can be paid to you subsequently to be shared among
us If you agree, we share it 50/50.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
That will protect you from any breach of the law. I wait for your
urgent response. Please provide your mobile number for easy
DR PAUL OWEN