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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: DR JOHN BOOMA <"www."@rice.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: DR JOHN BOOMA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 22:37:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Good Friend,
Dear Good Friend,
We have paid for the delivery fee of your parcel to the DHL Courier services
Benin. They promised that your parcel will leave immediately they received your
re-confirmed information to avoid wrong delivery.
Now contact them with your detail information below. The only money you will
send to the DHL is for official security keeping fee to enable them settle the
security department of their company and deliver your parcel direct to your
home address in your country which you will forward to DHL in the below contact
information soon ok.
Here is the requested information needed by the Director of the DHL Diplomatic
Division which they instructed me to email you to provide for them while
contacting them for easier identification when the diplomat arrives in your
Kindly re-confirm to them the following information:
Your full name: _____________________
Your complete address______________________
Name of city of Residence: ___________
Your direct cell phone number: ______________
Nearest airport: _____________________
I registered it with the DHL Courier Company in the name of Computer
accessories as its content and I didn't let them know that it contains ATM CARD
in the amount funds of US$2.500.000.00 because of fear of betrayal or to avoid
the Diplomat man made away with your ATM card containing the sum of
Yours in service
DR.JOHN BOOMA (ESQ).