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)
- ",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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: Mrs Joy DENIS <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2020 14:30:26 +0100
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD PACKAGE $7,5MILLION IS AVAILABLE NOW
I'M HAPPY TO INFORM YOU ABOUT MY SUCCESS IN GETTING THOSE FUNDS
TRANSFERRED UNDER THE CO-OPERATION OF A NEW PARTNER FROM
LONDON.PRESENTLY I'M IN LONDON FOR INVESTMENT PROJECTS WITH MY OWN
SHARE OF THE TOTAL SUM $7,500,000 MILLION IN ATM CARD DELIVER IT TO
YOU,I DIDN'T FORGET YOUR PAST EFFORTS AND ATTEMPTS TO ASSIST ME IN
TRANSFERRING THOSE FUNDS DESPITE THAT IT FAILED US SOME HOW.NOW
CONTACT DHL SERVICE COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC.
MR DAVID MORRIS.
Send Your Require information via Email Address ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Calling Number Tel.+229-68542895
LEGAL PRACTITIONER & PUBLIC NOTARY
SUITE 205 MDOMI PLAZA,
AKPAKPA COTONOU BENIN.
KINDLY CONTACTING THE DHL TO SEND YOU THE TOTAL OF $7.500,000 MILLION
ATM CARD PARCEL WHICH I KEPT FOR YOUR COMPENSATION FOR ALL THE PAST
EFFORTS AND ATTEMPTS TO ASSIST ME IN THIS MATTER.I APPRECIATED YOUR
EFFORTS AT THAT TIME VERY MUCH.SO FEEL FREE AND GET IN TOUCHED WITH
DHL COMPANY NOW AND INSTRUCT HIM WHERE TO SEND THE ATM CARD PARCEL
CONTENTS $7.500,000 MILLION TO YOU.
PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE ATM CARD PARCEL SO THAT
WE CAN SHARE THE JOY AFTER ALL THE SUFFERER AT THAT TIME.IN THE
MOMENT,IM VERY BUSY HERE BECAUSE OF THE INVESTMENT PROJECTS WITH IMF
AND THE NEW PARTNER ARE HAVING AT HAND,FINALLY,REMEMBER THAT I HAD
FORWARDED INSTRUCTION TO THE DHL OFFICE ON YOUR BEHALF TO RECEIVE THE
ATM CARD CONTENTS $7,500,000 MILLION,SO FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH
MR DAVID MORRIS.HE WILL SEND THE THE ATM CARD $7,500,000 MILLION TO
YOU WITHOUT ANY DELAY.
MR FRANK DENIS