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:
- "insurance fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "00,000.00" (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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Angela Blake <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2022 18:56:45 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS, COMPENSATION FOR SCAM VICTIM PAYMENT APPROVED.........
Your unclaimed compensation has been registered via ATM CARD worth
US$2,700,000.00 with Courier Service Company with registration code of (
DCJKT00678G ). please kindly contact me with your delivery information such
Your Full Name,
Your Office Address,
Your Telephone Number,
Your ID Copy and a picture,
Your Nearest Airport for delivery of your ATM CARD Package.
The Insurance fee has been paid & Delivery fee. The only fee you have to
pay $85.00 for the authorization and documentation of your name on the
legal documents as the rightful beneficiary for the approval of said fund
via ATM Card. Please kindly indicate the registration Number including your
details and Security keeping Fee only which was required from you up to the
delivery of your package down to your home as the rightful beneficiary to
the unclaimed compensation for scam victim.
Thank you for your understanding and God bless you as you furnish us your
details for Documentation of your name on the legal documents for the
delivery via ATM MASTER CARD.
Mrs. Angela Blake.