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:
- "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. )
- 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: Kelly Chizzy <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2023 04:11:52 -0700
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD PACKAGE
Global Benin Republic Office
70 International Airport Road,
Mafoluku, Cotonue Benin Republic.
This mail is to inform you of your registered package CONTENT: ATM
Card worth US$2,950,000.00 registered by an official of the United
Nations. The Fund is a donation to you from the U.N through e-mails
balloting in affiliation with the commonwealth poverty eradication
The Pin code and instructions on how to use the card is inside the
package with the ATM Card and you can make withdrawal in any location
of the ATM machine of your choice/nearest to you anywhere in your
Please note: The VAT and COD has been paid and the only money you will
have to pay is the security keeping fee of $150 only must be paid
You are hereby requested to forward below details to Global Delivery
Department Mr. Mohammed Tanko, with this email
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for shipment of the package to you.
1. Your Full Name
2. Your Mobile Phone Number
3. Your Contact Address
4, A copy of your ID
5, Your Country / City
Ensure to contact Global Delivery Mr. Mohammed Tanko, as soon as possible.
+1 720, 468 0277