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:
- "million 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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr DANIEL BURNE <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2023 19:00:44 +0100
Subject: RE,THANK YOU
My Dearest Friend,
I hope you still remember me .This is to thank you for your past
effort and kind assistance. The money sum of 120 Million US dollars
belonging to my late parents has been transferred into an account
provided by a newly found business partner of mine from India. I wish
to compensate you for your past assistance, effort and commitments
that time to help me out . I have deposited the bank draft check of
US$1.2million usd with Bank of Africa PlC in the Federal Republic du
Benin , I am in Inda right now to establish some business and possibly
buy some properties also.
So I want you to Contact my Pastor who is currently on a mission in
Benin Republic ,Rev.Charles Hadi on his information below, because he
will be the one that will assist you to have the fund transferred to
your bank account or help you to receive the fund or Bank Draft check.
Email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Phone Number: +22955488467
I left every instruction with him to assist you and have the bank wire
the fund to you as soon as you contact him, so make sure you
Your home address..................
Your Cell Phone Number...........
I left every instruction with him to send you the Bank draft cheque
.as soon as you contact him, so make sure you re-confirm your address
and Cell Phone Number to him to avoid any mistake on the delivery of
your Bank Draft Cheque to you. Then ask him to send the Cheque to you
to you immediately,
With All My
Mr Dennis Byrne