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:
- 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:
- "insurance fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (Representative; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Paul Dimka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr.Paul Dimka" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 11:01:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: GOOD NEWS I have registered your ATM CARD of $2.8M
This is to bring to your notice that I have registered your ATM CARD of $2.8M with Dhl Express Courier Company, and I have paid the delivery fee of your ATM, I paid it because the ATM Card of ($2.8m) has a week and few days to expire and when it expires, the money will go into Government purse. With that I decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM will not be expire, because I know when you get your ATM card definitely you must send my money back to me with co-operation. Now I want you to contact Dhl Express Courier Company so that they will deliver your Card to your address without any delay. Like I stated earlier, the delivery and registered charges has been paid. Note Below Is the Company Contact Information
Contact Person: Mr. Kodjo Benson
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Number: +229-6945-2306
Please reconfirm the following details forward to Mr. Kodjo Benson Director Dhl on this E-Mail: email@example.com.
Your Full Name: ......
Your Private Telephone Number: ......
Your Address where the ATM will be delivered to: ....
Your nearest airport: ......
A copy of your Passport or Driving License: ......
I have paid for the registered & Delivery fee.The only fee you have to pay is $32 for their Insurance fee only.Please ask Him information were to send their Insurance fee of $32 so that you can pay it.
NB: TRACKING NUMBER WILL BE SEND TO YOU AFTER YOU SEND THE $32 TO ENABLE YOU MONITOR THE PACKAGE AND DATE OF DELIVERY.