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:
- "million us 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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: bank <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2022 09:12:37 -0700
Subject: Call or text +22956374825
We finally arrangeed to make your funds release sum of $32.8 million
US Dollars out of wire transfer or
through delivery ATM MASTER CARD deposited in UBA BANK PIC with the
help of attorney George Clement
of the Federal Supreme Court BENIN REPÃBLICA who act as your foreign
lawyer representative here in
the REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
all necessary arrangements were successfully made with the
administrator Mr. Johnson ben ATM
MASTER CARD and all document guidance your delivery is in good order,
so you are advised to
reconfirm your complete delivery information to the director now as he
is currently in the Republic of
Benin branch of the United Bank of Africa (Cotonou) with its MASTER
CARD ATM how he called me this
morning to let me know he has no time to waste there, is waiting to
hear from you about your receipt
Therefore, the information that you must reconfirm to the Agent is as Follow.
(1) Your Full Name ===
(2) phone number ===
(3) Current address ===
(5)Nearest airport ===
how is he in Benin (Benin) right now
because he wants to know how you want the funds to arrive you VIA ATM
General Director of Uba Bank of Africa Mr.Johnson ben
Call or text +22956374825
Then contact him to deliver your MASTER ATM CARD as early as tomorrow
morning, possibly today, so
get back to us immediately if you contact the director to ensure your
funds reach you without any