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:
- 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:
- "lome togo" (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: OFFICE FILE <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 14:35:19 +0100
Subject: Good News
This is DHL courier Delivery Company of Lome Togo, the management of
this company, wishes to inform you that, we received a parcel
containing an ATM Master Card valued $7.5 Million USD with the vital
PIN on it, for safety delivery to your residential address in your
This parcel was brought to us this morning by the ATM Card payment
office Lome Togo, please reconfirm the below information, to avoid
delivery of your ATM Master Card to wrong hand.
1) Your Full Name:
2) Address, City, State And Country:
3) Personal Cell Phone, Fax And Mobile:
4) Company Name (If Any) Position And Address:
5) Occupation, Age And Marital Status:
6) Copy Of Your Int'l Passport/Drivers Licence
Send your require information via Email Address
(firstname.lastname@example.org) We will register your package and send you
the tracking numbers before we proceed for safety delivery of your
package as soon as you reconfirm the required information for safety
delivery.Send your require information via Email Address
(email@example.com) DHL is one of the world's great success
stories, the start-up that revolutionized
the delivery of packages and information. In the past 33years, we've
grown up and grown into a diverse family of companies as DHL that's
bigger, stronger, better than ever.