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)
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "barrister" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Donald Wilson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2023 20:14:32 +0100
Subject: Hello Dear Friend
Hello Dear Friend,
I am Mr Donald Wilson; I am 51 years Old. My residential address is as
follows 68 Ross-land Rd, ON L1P 1Y1, Canada, I am one of those that
took part in the Compensation in Cotonou, Benin Republic West Africa
and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $22,000.00 while in the
Canada, 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 Barrister Rogers
Edouya, who is the member of OUTSTANDING PAYMENT AWARD COMMITTEE and a
Human Rights Activist (Lawyer) and he explained everything to me.
He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation
payment. Right now I am among the happiest men on earth because I have
received my compensation Funds amounting to $2,500,000.00. Moreover,
Barrister Rogers Edouya showed me the list of those that won lottery
and those whose inheritance had not been paid and the list
of all outstanding contractors that were owed and yet to receive their
payments in Benin Republic, Ghana and Nigeria and I saw your email
address as one of the victims, that is why I decided to email you to
contact Barrister Rogers Edouya directly on this information below.
Name: Barrister Rogers Edouya
Tell: +229 95 52 29 68
You really have to Contact Barrister Rogers Edouya directly for the
paper works of your compensation fund of $1.5M. Take Note, I only paid
$250.00 for the paper works. Contact him and be Blessed.
68 Rossland Rd, ON L1P 1Y1, Canada