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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Donald Wilson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 12:16:10 -0700
Subject: Hello Dear Friend
Hello Dear Friend,
I am Mr Donald Wilson; I am 51 years Old. My residential address is as
follows 68 Ross-land Rd, ON L1P 1Y1, Canada, I am thinking of moving
since I am now wealthy, I am one of those that took part in the
Compensation in Cotonou, Benin Republic West Africa many years ago and
they refused to pay me, I had paid over $22,000.00 while in the
Canada, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So,I decided to travel down to West Africa precisely Cotonou, Benin
Republic with all my compensation documents, and I was directed to
Barrister Roy Edouya, who is the member of OUTSTANDING PAYMENT AWARD
COMMITTEE and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer) and I contacted him and
he explained everything to me.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation
payment. Right now I am the happiest man on earth because I have
received my compensation Funds amounting to $4,500,000.00. Moreover,
Barrister Roy Edouya showed me the full information of those that
won lottery and those whose inheritance had not been paid and the list
of all outstanding contractors that were owed and yet to receive their
payments in Benin Republic, Ghana and Nigeria and I saw your
information as one of the victims, that is why I decided to email you
to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they
are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact
Barrister Roy Edouya directly on this information below.
Name: Mr.Roy Edouya (Barrister)
Tell : +22990567133
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting
you and telling you that your fund is with them. Contact Barrister
Roy Edouya directly for the paper works. Take Note, the only money I
paid after I met Barrister Roy Edouya was just $105.00 for the paper
works. Contact him and be Blessed.
68 Rossland Rd, ON L1P 1Y1,