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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.Olu Jackso" <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:28:12 +0530
Subject: Contact DHL office for the delivery of your consignment
This is Mr.Olu Jackson, I have registered your Bank Draft to DHL Office
so that they will deliver it to your home address and i believe your
current address is still the same.
Your total amount in the envelope is USD$850.000.00 and the DHL office
assured me no stoppage until it get to your hand.
I want you to contact them and re-confirm your address where to deliver it.
DHL CONTACT INFORMATION
634 BP 3378,COTONOU
Mr.Paul Smith informed me that it will take good 3days to get to your house
and your Envelope acumulate cost of is USD$165.99. as delivery charges.
Your Current address have to be reconfirmed when contacting the DHL office.
and you have to send the money to them with the information below
To: Mr. Okafor Chidi
Country: Benin Republic.
Do let me know as soon as you receive your Check Draft