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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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 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: "Mr.Thomas Wolf" <www.@ninus.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.Thomas Wolf" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 16:52:23 +0900 (JST)
Subject: I AM DHL COURIER DIPLOMATIC AGENT
I AM DHL COURIER DIPLOMATIC AGENT David Denis I have been
trying to reach you on your telephone about an hour now just to inform
you about my successful arrival in Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
with your ATM MASTER CARD worth $4.8million USA
dollars which I have been instructed by DHL COURIER COMPANY to deliver
to you. The Airport authority demanded for all the legal back up to
prove to them that the fund is no way related with drug nor fraud
I have presented the papers and handed it over to them and they are
very much pleased with the papers I presented, but the only thing that
is still keeping me here is the airport delivery permit tag which is not
placed on PACKAGE,one of the Airport Authority has advise that we
get the delivery tag so that I can exit the airport immediately and
make my delivery successful.
I try to reason with them and they stated the delivery tag will cost
us just $150 Dollars only to get the tags placed on the PACKAGE as
that tag will enable me get to your house successfully without any
interference, they scanned the PACKAGE and found out that the fund is
100 % spend able and accepted by any bank in the whole world.
You can direct the tag fee to our Head Office in Benin Republic DHL
COURIER COMPANY as they will get the tags here for you and they are
entitled to receive and make any payment to foreign countries
authority.Here is my email(firstname.lastname@example.org) or text me on my USA line +1(240)7506123
Country: Benin Republic
Amount: $150.00 US Dollars
After sending the payment to Our Head Office in Benin Republic DHL
COURIER COMPANY text me the payment information such as MTCN number
also senders name text question and answer on my USA line (762) 435-3548
to enable me reach them
with the payment details so they can get the tags obtain and Fax it to
me one hand so I can make my next step to your address
AGENT David Denis
Text or call me on my USA line +1(240)7506123