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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Jean Dossou <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 22:01:54 +0200
Good day to you.
I am Mr. Jean Dossou and a personal Accountant BOA bank of Benin
Republic. It is with a good spirit of heart that I opened up this
great opportunity to you. A deceased client of mine that shares
almost the same name as yours died as a result of heart-related
condition on march 2015, He died due to the death of the members of
his family in the plane crash disaster on the 8th of March 2014 in
Malaysia where they all lost their lives. You can read the website
There is a draft account opened in my bank in 1999 by the deceased. He
was a CEO/a textile company owner, business man, a miner at Natitingou
mining company here in Greece. He was a geologist and consultant to
several other mining conglomerates operating in Greece, China, Taiwan,
Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam all in Asia. Before he passed away
on 12th march 2015 he had nobody as the next of kin to his Bank
The amount in this account is currently $19,500,000 (Nineteen Million
Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) I want to present you as
his beneficiary/next of kin, I will use my position and influence in
our bank to make them release this money to you for us to share.
Let me know if you are interested in working with me by sending your
full name, Mobile telephone and fax number. As soon as I hear from
you, I will direct you on what to do next.