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:
- "courier service" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Gerald Morris <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 11:38:28 +0100
Subject: FROM BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992
Zakari Maimalari Street
Cadastral Zone AO,
Central Business District, Benin Republic.
Mr. GERALD MORRIS
E-mail: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
The BRITISH High Commission in Benin Republic,Nigeria,Ghana and Bokinafaso
received a report of a scam against you and other British/US citizens,
America citizens, South America citizens, Asia citizens and European
citizens,Etc. whom the countries of Benin/Nigeria,Bokina Faso And Ghana
have compensated you due to meetings held with Four countries Government
and the world high commissions against fraud activities by the mentioned
country Citizens, Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Benin
Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU).
A re-compensation has been issued out in ATM MASTER CARD to all the
affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers.
Your ATM CARD was among those that was reported undelivered as at last
Friday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the
Committee to make sure you receive your ATM CARD immediately for your usage.
BFIU further told us that the use of Benin Couriers and the Nigeria was
abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned
courier services in Benin,Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have made a
concrete arrangement with the Post Office Service Benin for a safe delivery
to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up with the postal charge of
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the BFIU dispatches your
recompense on Monday. You are assured of the safety of your ATM MASTER CARD
and availability and be advised that you should stop further contacts with
all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed
Your total compensation fund is $1.5million USD
AND email me at ( email@example.com ) immediately to check if the
delivery date suits you.
Note that you are to provide the following information for verification for
us to be sure that we are dealing with the right person: -
(1). Your Full Name:......................
(2).Your Delivery Address...............
(3). Your Phone Number.................
(4). Your occupation .....................
The information you provide will also be used for delivery purposes so
make sure you do not make mistakes.
Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Yours in Service,