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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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.
- +31626415837 (Netherlands, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "SBDC Dept" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 12:16:46 GMT
Subject: ING FOUNDATION GRANT DONATION,
ING FOUNDATION GRANT DONATION,=20
This is to inform you that you have been chosen By the Board of
trustees of the above International charity organization as one of the final
recipients of a Cash Donation.
Based on the random selection exercise of internet service providers (ISP)
and millions of Super market cash invoices worldwide, you were selected
among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of US=242,000,000.00
(TWO Million United States Dollars) as charity donations/cash aid
You are required to Contact the Executive Secretary below for
Your confirmation numbers are: (ING-121-G-01-06)
PLEASE ALSO REPLY WITH CONFIRMATION OF YOUR INFORMATION:=20
COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT:
DATE OF BIRTH:
Mr. Densmore stewart
Finally, all funds should be claimed by their respective beneficiaries,
not later that 7 days after notification.
On behalf of the Board kindly accept our warmest congratulations
Mrs. KATHY VERO