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:
- "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. )
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. JAMES MORGAN" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2023 16:25:43 -0800
Subject: Dear beneficiary,
We are glad to be here for you. DHL Express Courier Company Ltd
is regulated and mandated by the Delivery Service Authority (DSA).
the delivery companies that regulate all delivery activities
the Republic of Benin
It is our pleasure to tell you the value of your ATM card package
$980,000.00 was brought to our office by Mr. Brian last Friday
Shukan, the US Ambassador to Benin, on your behalf immediately
delivery and we are here to let you know your package will
Delivery to your address once you agree with us
So Mr. Brian Shukan, the US ambassador, tells us that you are
sending him early
gave him your delivery address, but it was misplaced in his office
hand over the ATM package for a fee anyway during the ongoing
renovation work in his office
was discussed by the United Nations Human Rights Council
Meanwhile, you only need to pay $105 as security deposit
remain responsible for your package and we have 24 hours to do so
with the fee or your package, there will be more fees if you fail.
ONLY $105 SECURITY FEE
Send the $105 fee via World Remit, Money Gram, or Ria, or via Apple
Card with the following information:
RECIPIENT NAME: ... HENRY
COUNTRY:..... BENIN REPUBLIC
CITY: ... COTONOU
Please confirm the information below again
Once we receive the $105 security fee, we will officially do it
Program the delivery of your bank card package and I will forward it
Tracking number for proper tracking of your package
We also accept the $105 security fee in the form of a gift card.
Awaiting your answer
DHL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY LTD
NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Contact phone Number +22959323319 OR WHATSAPP