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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 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. Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:43:54 -0700
Hello good news
Good day and how are you today? Having reviewed all the obstacles and
problems surrounding your over due inheritance funds valued $10.8 Million
USD (Ten Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) payment and
your inability to meet up with the charges required due to unnecessary
It is my great pleasure to inform you that we have successfully arranged
with UBA Bank Director, Dr. Oliver Alawuba covert your above mentioned fund
which was originally in a Consignment box into ATM card and ready for
delivery to your door step.
I was happy when UBA Bank Director, Dr. Oliver Alawuba informed me that all
the necessary arrangement has been completed that he has converted the
total amount into ATM Card in your name, after which I went to DHL Courier
Company and registered it for onward delivery to your address. Kindly
study bellow information for your deposit details:
Description: UBA BANK (ATM CARD)
Depositor: Linda Conti
Deposit Number: DHL-101-PL45
Deposit Certificate N0.E405576
Sort/Clearance Code: DHL/101-45/P50
According to Mrs Linda Conti, you can able to withdraw $2,500.00 per each
withdrawal at daily limit of $15,000.00 until you withdraw your total $10.8
Million from the ATM CARD. So all you need is to write application letter
to DHL Courier Company contact information or call their foreign
operation department Dr Lawrence for immediate delivery schedule of your
ATM CARD to your resident address.
Contact Person: Dr. Micheal Lawrence (Foreign Operation Department)
DHL Courier Company Cotonou Benin,
Plot No. 23 Patte D'Oie 03 BP 2147 Cotonou
Office Contact number: ( +1 (817) 502-2435
Don't forget to reconfirm your current data as Dr. Micheal Lawrence
requested to enable their delivery agent deliver safely.
Herein is what they need from you
1. Your Full Names:_____________
2. Postal Address:__________
3. Direct Cell Numbers:_______
4. E-mail Address:__________
Please hurry up now as your package might attract charges if it
stays more than 3 days with DHL and do keep us posted.
Mr. Johnson Thomas
IMF Head Quarter Dept Reconciliation Committee