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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "overseas claims unit" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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.
- +447045701300 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "UNION JACK LOTTERY BOARD" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 23:24:29 -0600
Subject: ONE MILLION POUNDS (£) JACK-POT **END OF YEAR BONANZA**
THE UNION JACK LOTTERY
14 ROYAL GATE
BATCH NUMBER: 74/44319/UJL
Union Jack Lottery happily announces to you the Draw of the just concluded annual end of years sweepstakes
lottery.Your E-mail ID won a total sum of £1,000,000.00 GBP Sterling, from BRITISH UNION JACK LOTTERY
INC annual promotion
To file for claim, fill out the information required in the verification
form and establish contact via e-mail between the hours of 8.00am-7.30pm
on Monday through Saturday and contact our overseas claims fiduciary unit
with the information below:
OVERSEAS CLAIMS UNIT
UNION JACK PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
Tel:+44 704 570 1300
Tel:+44 704 570 8873
Tel:+44 702 409 6488
Online coordinator for UK Lottery
Sweepstakes International Program.
*UJL Lottery is a free service that does not require you to buy a ticket,it is an annual promotion*.