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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: DHL COURIER SERVICE <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2023 14:26:29 +0100
Subject: Be Alerts
DHL COURIER SERVICE
32 AWOLOWO RD, IKOYI
106104, LOGOS, NGA
ATTENTION ATM MASTER CARD BENEFICIARY
This is DHL Courier Delivery Company Nigeria. The management of this
company wishes to inform you that we received a parcel which contains
an ATM Master Card valued $5million United state dollars with some
vital documents attached on it for safety delivery to your home
address in your country within the next 48hrs as soon as we hear back
from you. This is (payment office ) and I am directed to inform you
that your payment verification and confirmations is OK.
This parcel was brought to us this morning by the ATM Card payment
office, Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) as your inheritance/scam
victim approved fund to be delivered to you without delay, So kindly
reconfirm the below information to avoid delivering your ATM Master
Card to a wrong hand.
Parcel owner address:
A Scan Copy of Your International Passport Or Driver's License:
We will register your package and send you the tracking numbers before
we proceed for safety delivery of your package as soon as you
reconfirm the required information for safety delivery.
Your response is highly welcomed.
Yours in service.
Dispatch Manager DHL Company
Tel: +234 708 7891949