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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mrs. Rose Mark" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 11:27:15 -0700
Subject: CONTACT DHL EXPRESS COMPANY FOR YOUR ATM CARD WORTH $4.8 MILLION USD
This is to bring to your notice that I have been able to pay the
re-activation fee and the delivery of your ATM Card. I paid it because
the ATM Card worth of $4.8m has less than Seven days to expire and
when it expires, the money will lost to the Federal Government
treasury account . With that I decided to help you pay off the money
so that the ATM Card will not expire, because I trust that when you
receive your ATM Card definitely you must pay me back my expenditure
and even compensate me for helping you.
Now i want you to contact DHL Express with your physical address your
prefer the delivery so that they can deliver your Card to your
designated address without any delay. Like i stated earlier, The
delivery charges has been paid but i did not pay their 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 demurr age
might have increased.
They told me that their keeping fee is $68 per day as i made the
deposit yesterday, So you are advised to contact them immediately to
avoid the security keeping charge increase.
Below is their Contact Information's, Contact Person: Rev Dr. David
Williams. DHL Express Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tel: +229 91-57-92-07 Contact them Today to avoid increase of their
keeping fees and let me know once you receive your card.
Mrs. Rose Mark.