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:
- 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)
- 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 (Africamail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Antonio Gutters" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 10:04:15 +0000
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION PAYMENT FUND
My name is Mr. Antonio Gutters, the Secretary of the United Nations. A
meeting was held recently on your behalf by the United Nations general
assembly within the UN/IMF countries concerning the unclaimed funds denied
to many people all over the world.
Your fund will be released to you by the paying bank for immediate payment.
It was discovered during this Annual meeting that no funds have been paid
to you all these years of pursuit.
The funds are now ready to be released to you since you have been approved
to receive/claim this compensation payment of $1,500,000. (One Million Five
Hundred Thousand USD) We have instructed your paying bank to release your
payment to you.
Kindly contact the bank below through their email address for your fund
Bank of Africa
Direct Line; +229 99752462
Bank Director, Mr. M Sadio CISSE.
You are therefore advice to contact the Bank Of Africa in Benin Republic
with the above contact detail, to enable the transfer of your total fund
$1,500,000, to you without any further delay because all the arrangements
on how to speedily transfer your fund to your bank account have been made
with them, like the bank transfer fee and all the needed fees have been
But the only fee you are going to pay to them is only the sum of $49,
dollar to renew your file with their bank before your total fund will be
transferable into your account.
Mr. Antonio Gutters.