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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ATM MASTER CARD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2023 17:11:13 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS
QUICKLY CONTACT THE PERSON IN CHARGE VIA THIS INFORMATION FOR THE
DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM MASTER CARD VALUED THE SUM OF $10.500.000.00 USD
DO KINDLY RECONFIRM YOUR DELIVERY INFORMATION TO HIM SUCH AS THIS BELOW:
YOUR FULL NAME:
YOUR CELL PHONE:
A COPY OF YOUR ID OR YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT:
TO AVOID ANY MISTAKES ON THE DELIVERY PROCESS BY THE DHL COMPANY
AND ALSO BEAR IT IN MIND THAT THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL PAY SO FAR ON
IS $55.00 TO THE DHL COMPANY DELIVERY CHARGES ONLY, BECAUSE EVERY
OTHER EXPENSES HAS
ALREADY BEEN PAID AND DON'T BE DECEIVED BY ANYONE TO PAYING ANY OTHER
USE BELOW INFORMATION TO SEND THE MONEY THROUGH RIA OR WORLD REMIT TO
COMPANY DHL COMPLETE THE DELIVERY WITHOUT ANY MORE DELAY.
AM WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE PAYMENT DETAILS TO ENABLE THIS
COMPANY SERVE YOU WELL WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY OKAY.
Email= ( email@example.com )