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. )
- "abuja" (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.
- 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 (Rediffmail, India; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. EMMA UJAH." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:27:38 +0100
Subject: DHL OFFICE
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello St.
I wish to inform you that your overdue payment worth of $10.5
Million USD has be scheduled to pay
you through certified ATM Card which you will be only required to
proceed to any ATM Cash
Point to withdraw $5,000, 2-times per day till your fund is completed.
Meanwhile, the valid ATM CARD was registered with NIGERIA DHL
Courier Company as a packaged.
All you need to do now is to contact DHL with the email below. And
provide them with your address.
Manager Name: MR Vincent Eze
Phone/Fax: (+234) 7032 687 467
Mr. EMMA UJAH.
IMF Managing Director,