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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- business district,lagos branch nigeria e-mail: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) attn, the british high commission in nigeria,benin (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Robert Scott Dewar," (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 07:43:34 -0700
Subject: FROM BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
Metro Plaza, Plot 991/992
Zakari Maimalari Street
Cadastral Zone AO,
Central Business District,Lagos Branch Nigeria
E-MAIL: ( email@example.com )
The BRITISH High Commission in Nigeria,Benin Republic,Ghana and Burkina
Faso received a report of scam against you and other British/US citizens
and Malaysia,Etc. whom the country of Nigeria/Benin,Burkina Faso And Ghana
have recompensed you due to meeting held with Four countries Government
and the world high commissions against fraud activities by the Four
Your name and the names of those victims whom emails address i have sent
along for your perusal was listed by the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit
(NFIU). A compensation has been issued out in ATM CARD to all the affected
victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers. Your ATM
CARD was among those that was reported undelivered as at on Friday and we
wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the Committee to make
sure you receives your ATM CARD immediately for your own use.
NFIU further told us that the use of Nigeria Couriers and the Benin was
abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned
courier services in Benin,Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have made a concrete
arrangement with the DHL Courier Company and EMS SPEED POST courier
service for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets
up the demand of the conveyance.
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the NFIU dispatches your
recompense on or after Monday. You are assured of the safety of your ATM
CARD and availability and be advised that you should stop further contacts
with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration
Get in touch with my secretary, NAME; Valentine Madubueze EMAIL: (
firstname.lastname@example.org ) he will be taking care of your responses,
NOTE THAT ALL REPLIES AND RESPONSES BE DIRECTED TO (
email@example.com ) Phone Number: +2348147681906
DO LET US KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE CHANGE TO A NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS.
Yours in Service,
Mr.Robert Scott Dewar,
Consular,British High Commission.