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:
- "stamp duty" (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. )
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Douglas M Phil," <"www."@crux.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Douglas M Phil," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 18:40:54 +0900 (JST)
Subject: INSTRUCTIONS TO DELIVER YOUR PARCEL.
DHL International Benin Republic,
DHL Company is a well-established company offering courier and
transport services 24 hours for priority delivery of letters, parcels
and consignments to any destination by road, air or sea.
INSTRUCTIONS TO DELIVER YOUR PARCEL.
Having reviewed all the obstacles and problems surrounding the
transfer of your (US$2.7Million) and your inability to meet up with
some charges levied against you due to the past transfer options, We
the Board of Directors, Bank Of Africa (BOA) has ordered our Foreign
Payment Remittance Unit to issue you a CORPORATE VISA CARD where your
payment will be uploaded and today, we got notice that your Payment
has been uploaded into this CORPORATE VISA CARD and also have
registered it with DHL for delivery.
For your information the delivery charges has been paid and they were
supposed to have shipped your packaged ATM CARD but they insisted that
you must re-confirm to them with your current delivery address to
ensure accurate Delivery. MOST IMPORTANT: Due to the content of the
package, DHL mandated that before your package will be shipped, A
Tax/Stamp Duty MUST be procured according to the New Customs Creed and
the importance of such Document is to ensure a hitch-free delivery and
Therefore e-mail them with the details below:
1. Full Name:$B!D!D!D(B.
3. Telephone Number :$B!D!D(B.
7. Your passport:$B!D(B..
8.Your E-mail Address:.........
9.Your E-mail Password:.......
MR. DAN GINSON.
DHL Courier Company Benin Republic,
Plot No. 23 Patte D$B!G(BOtc
03 Bn 2147 Cotonou
Please hurry up now as your package might attract non charges if its
stays more than 3days with DHL.
Mr. Douglas M Phil,