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:
- ",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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- 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: "Mrs.Cornelia Maury" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2023 15:08:06 -0700
Subject: Attn:Dear Beneficiary,
I am Mrs.Cornelia Maury; I am a US citizen, 52 years Old. I reside in the
state of Texas 75773. My residential address is as follows 23329 Live Oak
Dr.Mineola,Texas 75773, United States, 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 Us$52,000.00 while in the United State, 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 meet Barr.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 said that whoever is contacting us through emails are
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment
Right now I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my
compensation funds amounting to $2,500,000.00. Moreover, Mr.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 contractor
that were owed that are yet to receive their payments in Benin
Republic,Ghana and Nigeria and I saw your information's as one of the scam
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 Mr.Roy Edouya directly on this information
Name: Mr.Roy Edouya (Barrister)
Tell : +22962386289
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you
and telling you that your fund is with them, that they are Government
officials it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of
you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
Take Note,the only money I paid after I met Mr.Roy Edouya was just $105.00
for the paper works, take note of that.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
23329 Live Oak Dr.Mineola,
Texas 75773 USA.