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:
- 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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "Ms. Amina Jane Mohammed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 09:41:50 -0800
Subject: CONTACT DHL OFFICE IMMEDIATELY FOR YOUR ATM CARD
GREETING'S TO YOU.
THIS NOTICE IS TO INFORM YOU THAT GOVERNMENT OF BENIN REPUBLIC HAS
APPROVE DHL COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY TO DELIVER YOUR FULL COMPENSATION
FUND OF $5.5 MILLION USD THROUGH ATM CARD.
THE ARRANGEMENT HAVE BEEN MADE SO YOU ARE TO FELL FREE IN CONTACTING
DHL COMPANY WITH THE BELOW INFORMATION TO AVOID WRONG DELIVERY OF
YOUR ATM CARD.
AND IN ORDER TO DELIVER YOUR COMPENSATION FUND OF $5.5 MILLION USD
WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY.CONTACT PERSON ,DIRECTOR BRYON DOUGLAS
,TELEPHONE +229 -64-65-29-00
Your full names:....................
Your house address:.................
Your telephone number:..............
Your copy of ID e.g. Driving licenses ....
MS. AMINA JANE MOHAMMED.
DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL (U.N)
COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC.