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:
- "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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Jordan Ryan <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Jordan Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2021 01:27:40 +0900
Subject: Dear Customer,
Sequel to my study leave and course in London, and pressure from some of you, I was able to hurriedly compute all ATM cards of the Batch C compensation beneficiaries before my departure from Benin yesterday. Your ATM card has been processed, sealed and booked with DHL Courier Company for onward delivery to the address you shall provide to them. Kindly contact DHL delivery Manager (Mr Larry Page) via return mail or with the contact details below.
Mr Larry Page
DHL International Benin
Lot No. 23 Patte D'Oie
03 BP 2147
Provide him the information below:
8. Country Of Residence:
9. Telephone Number:
10.Passport by attach or driver's lisence number
I regret to inform you also that I was not able to avail delivery fee to DHL because I could not instantly verify your address and I sincerely apologize for this professional negligence. Kindly avail your current address where you would want your parcel delivered to and the delivery fee of $100.00 to DHL accordingly. Your Parcel Identification No. is DHLBEN/3576/2021. Parcel Description: MasterCard Debit Card of $4,800.000.00 USD.
I wish you all the best as I hope to receive your appreciation letter at my desk when I return from my study leave. Cheers!
Yours in service,
Secretary, IFV compensation committee