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:
- "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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: =?UTF-8?B?SC5FIFVtYXJvIFNpc3NvY28gRW1iYWzDsyA8?= firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 10 Oct 2022 06:11:36 +0300
Subject: CONTACT UBA BANK BENIN FOR YOUR COMPENSATION FUND
We are pleased to inform you that your Four Million Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars ($4,500,000.00 USD) have been
to you by the ECOWAS Council Republic of Benin for your
compensation scam victims and we are happy to announce that your
email address was
found among the list of those who have lost their money in one
way or the other while trying to get money from Africa and other
parts of the
We thereby want you to contact United Bank for Africa (UBA) with
information below and ask them what you will do to have your
transferred through an online account and with this method you
can transfer your funds online by yourself.
Contact information provided:
Bank Managing Director: Mr. Gbenga Makinde
Phone Number: +229-67635194
We look forward to your hearing as soon as possible.
Signed by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Council,
H.E Umaro Sissoco EmbalÃ³
Thanks and God bless you.