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:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "courier company" (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 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: JAMES PARKER <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2021 11:01:00 +0000
Subject: ATTENTION TO THE FINAL RELEASE ORDER
ATTENTION: ATM BUSINESS CASH CARD OWNER,
How are you doing today, hope well??
This is to inform you that I have successfully arrived at Dallas/Fort
Worth International Airport TEXAS USA with your ATM CARD PARCEL
worthâs $12.8 Million United States Dollars; anyway my name is Mr.
JAMES PARKER, the FedEx Courier Agent.
I arrived here in the airport about 14 hours ago but your PARCEL was
undergoing clearance so now Airport authorities here in Dallas/Fort
Worth International Airport held over your PARCEL and demand for all
the legal papers works which proves that the ATM CARD PARCEL rightly
belongs to the owner whose email address is on the PARCEL.
I have submitted all the legal documents I have with me to them.
You are upon the receipt of this message advised to indicate your
willingness to procure a needed document for the release of the ATM
KINDLY FILL IN THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION FOR VERIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION:
Your Full Name:
Your Direct Telephone Numbers:
Your Current Home Address:
Your Current Occupation:
Call or text me, once you receive this message as I really needed to
communicate with your delivery as soon as possible. Phone: +1
Mr. JAMES PARKER
FedEx Courier Company
Phone number for text SMS: +1 (469)333-8543.