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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- 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: BARRISTER DANIEL MEHSA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2023 20:03:20 +0100
My dear Friend.
It is obvious that this proposal will come to you as a surprise. This
is because we have not met before but I am inspired to sending you
this email following the huge fund transfer opportunity that will be
of mutual benefit to the two of us.
However, I am Barrister Daniel Mehsa Attorney to the late Engr.Boris
Puttin a Nationality of your country, who is the MD Benin national
Petroleum Cooperation (BONACOP) in Cotonou Benin . On the 11th of
November 2008.My client, his wife And their three children were
involved in a car accident along Cotonou/Port Novo Express way.
Unfortunately, they all lost their lives in the event of the
accident,Since then I have made several inquiries to several Embassies
to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved
After these several on successful attempts, I decided to trace his
relatives over the Internet to locate any member of his family but of
no avail, hence I contacted you to assist me in repatriating the money
and property left behind by my client, I can easily convince the bank
with my legal practice that you are the only surviving relation of my
client. Otherwise, the Estate, Oil Company and fund he left behind
will be confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where these
huge deposits were lodged.
Particularly, the Bank where the deceased had an account valued at
about $38.5 million U.S dollars(Thirty Eight million five hundred
thousand us dollars). Consequently, The bank issued me a notice to
provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the
next ten official working days. Since I have been on successful in
locating the relatives for over several years now.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased,
so that the proceeds of this account valued at $38.5million U.S
dollars can be paid to your account and then you and me can share the
money 50% for me and 40% to you, while 10% should be for expenses or
tax as your government may require.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal
through and also forward the following to me:
Your Full Name:
Your House Address:
Your Telephone And Fax No:
Your Age and Gender :
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law.