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:
- 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)
- "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)
- "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.
- 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: PRESIDENCY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2023 07:32:23 -0700
Subject: Attention Dear
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
Debts Management Office
9C3J+WM8, Rue du Gouverneur
Fourn, Cotonou, Benin
Tel: +229 99742102, Code: 0910
Re: 2023 FINAL PAYMENT NOTICE- BR/ CP0325/23.
I write with reference to our earlier letter Ref. No. BR/ CP0325/23,
on above subject and wish to draw your attention to Patrice Talon
directive to clear all outstanding Payments since 2015-2023, in
regards to his meeting with the United Nations, Commonwealth of
Nations and Embassies has agreed to Release Contract Payments,
Inheritance and Lottery claims to save our country from further
I have enlisted your name for this payment as one of the Beneficiaries
to be compensated with USD1,300,000.00 (One Million, Three Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars only) from this year budgeted Debts
Services Revenue, get back to me as soon as possible for the immediate
and uninterrupted payments in your favor.
The decision of the President is the climax of a complain battle
between the Ministries, Banks and some of the Countries/ Beneficiaries
who made strenuous efforts to retain their titles.
You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to
anybody for any reason whatsoever as to avoid misdirection and fund
So keep it secret till you secure our funds.
So Kindly confirm your Address,Phone numbers and bank Account Details
so that I will prepare you for payment within 72hrs.
Fulbert Gero Amoussouga