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:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- "activation 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. )
- "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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Richie Darren" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 11:50:02 +0100
Subject: FINAL RELEASE OF YOUR ATM CARD FROM DHL OFFICE
This is to bring to your notice that because of the impossibility of your
fund through Banks in Africa, we have credited your total sum of $2.5
million valid fund into an ATM MASTER CARD and the federal government have
paid the re-activation fee and the delivery of the ATM Card for you, the
government paid it because the ATM Card worth of $2.500,000.00 which they
have registered delivery on Wednesday has less than 1year to expire and it
is in the custody of the DHL Courier Company and when it expires, the money
will go into Federal Government treasury account.
With that we decided to help you pay off the money so that the ATM Card
will not expire, so that it will be easy for you to receive your ATM Card
immediately without any delay.
I was calling the telephone number you provided then, but unavailable to
confirm if you are still living in your formal address used for the
registration of the ATM Card.
Now I want you to contact DHL Courier Company with your current address for
the delivery to be made, so that they can deliver the ATM Card to your
designated address without any delay.
Like I stated earlier, the crediting re-activation, delivery and the
company registration charges has been paid by the government authority, but
they did not pay DHL official keeping fees since they refused, they refused
and the reason is that they do not know when you are going to contact them
and the demurrage might have increased by Then, they told me that DHL
keeping fee is $25 per day only, and it was deposited on 4th August 2021:
Below is the Contact Information of the DHL Courier Company,
DHL Director Mr. Bobby Savic,
Email Address online: email@example.com
Contact them today and also send them the security official keeping charge
to avoid increase of their fees and let me know once you receive your ATM
Important Notice, your ATM CARD package was registered as a gift so that
the diplomatic Agent will not know the content of your package okay.