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:
- "money gram" (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. WILLIAMS FORSTER" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2022 13:39:57 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION: DEAR CUSTOMER,
THIS EMAIL IS COMING TO YOU AS A REMINDER CONCERNING YOUR PENDING
PACKAGE THAT HAS BEEN WITH US FOR A LONG TIME. AS YOU ALREADY KNOW
THAT THIS PACKAGE IS CONTAINING AN ATM CARD IN THE AMOUNT OF $7.5
THIS EMAIL IS TO LET YOU KNOW THAT OUR DELIVERY TEAM HAS FINALLY
CARRIED OUT DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGE. THE PACKAGE LEFT COTONOU BENIN
ON THURSDAY AUGUST 18 2022 AND SINCE THEN PACKAGE HAS BEEN IN BRUSSELS
- BELGIUM AWAITING FOR CUSTOM CLEARANCE, AND BECAUSE OF THE DELAY IT
HAS BEEN SIGNED BY MR CHRISTIAENS STEFAN TO AVOID WRONG DELIVERING OF
YOUR PACKAGE ATM CARD.
TO TRACK YOUR PACKAGE, GO TO HTTP://WWW.DHL.COM AND INSERT THE
TRACKING NUMBER BELOW TO VIEW DELIVERY STATUS.
TRACKING NUMBER: 6228550915
ON THE TRACKING PAGE YOU WILL SEE THAT THIS PACKAGE IS GOING TO A
WRONG ADDRESS. THIS IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE REFUSED TO GIVE US YOUR
COOPERATION. YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO PROVIDE US WITH THE BELOW
DETAILS SO WE CAN IMMEDIATELY HAVE IT SEND OUT TO OUR DELIVERY MEN IN
YOUâRE NAME (IN FULL):
YOUâRE DELIVERY ADDRESS:
YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
YOUR WHATSAPP NUMBER:
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A REDIRECTION FEE OF $98
WHEN REPLYING THIS EMAIL WITH THE MTCN NUMBER WHICH YOU ARE TO MAKE
AVAILABLE TO THIS OFFICE VIA WORLD-REMIT TRANSFER, MONEY GRAM MONEY
TRANSFER OR WESTER UNION MONEY TRANSFER OFFICE IN THE NAME OF OUR
RECEIVING ACCOUNTING OFFICER STATED BELOW. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE THE
PAYMENT BY SENDING A STEAM WALLET CARD OR ITUNES $100 FOR IMMEDIATE
REDIRECTION OF YOUR PACKAGE:
RECEIVERS NAME: MILO BUDDY
COUNTRY: BENIN REPUBLIC
AMOUNT: $98 .00
TEXT QUESTION: URGENT
TEXT ANSWER: TODAY
PHONE; +229 61669849
MR. WILLIAMS FORSTER
THE DHL MANAGER BENIN REPUBLIC
ADDRESS: 455 AGBOKOU ANKPA ROAD COTONOU