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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mr. James Akins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 10:52:31 -0800
Subject: Dear rightful Beneficiary,
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Rue 02/48 chev ave. Mondu road Cotonou
Benin Republic Department.
Dear rightful Beneficiary,
You have been selected among the 20 lucky citizen's to receive a
Wonderful compensation funds from International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Here in Benin Republic as our New Year compensation funds reward
to all the scam victims who have lost alot of money in the hands of
The funds is total in amount of $4.5million USD and you are to receive
Your funds via bank to bank wire transfer,or ATM Card What you will
Just do now to get this transaction done quickly is to contact our IMF
Department director Mr.Nelson White Kindly contact him with your full
Information as reconfirmation of beneficiary to avoid scam or fraud work,
Your full name:......................... ..
Your age:.......................... .......
Your country:...................... .......
Your occupation:................... .......
Your Whatsapp phone contact................
Once you list out the required information to our director then he will
Give you the instructions to follow for your funds to be wire direct into your
Bank account and please remember to ask him for your transaction security code
Which will help us to protect your funds from getting hacked by the internet
Scammers,hackers also known as fraud' stars.
These are the correct contact of Mr.Nelson White
Make sure you contact him immediately you receive this mail and ask him to
Give you the instructions to get your total funds,thank you and remain blessed.
Best of Regard's IMF office