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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: DIPLOMAT MICHAEL BURGESS <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 17:20:29 +0100
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD VALUE OF $2.800,000,00USD DELIVERY
ATTENTION: Final Notice of Your Package
Peace be unto you dear Sir / Madam, How are you doing today and your
family, With due respect Sir / Madam, I am Diplomat Michael Burgess
official diplomatic agent Federal Republic of Benin, I am writing to
inform you that I have been instructed by the IMF director Benin
Republic Dr Phillip Marco to deliver your Atm Visa Card worth of
$2.800,000,00 Usd to you at your doorstep in your Country,
Please to avoid further delaying, You are advise to reconfirm below
details complete as exactly as I stated here to help me in your
delivery and also to enable me know that you are the rightful person i
was directed to contact, Your full details is in my file here but i
want you to reconfirm it to be sure that you are the one i ask to
delivered to, Meanwhile you will pay $75,00 for your delivery charge
only to avoid miss-preparation of your delivery to your home address
in your country or you come down here in person to pick your card by
Here is the form to fill as exactly as stated
Your Full Name_____,
Your Home Address______,
Your State Name______,
Your Country Name___
Your Cell Number____,
Your Office Phone____,
A Copy Of Your Picture____,
Your Nearest International Air-Port------------
Diplomat Michael Burgess,
Phone Number +229-68-81-29-62
YOUR ATM CARD VALUE OF $2.800,000,00USD DELIVERY