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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- +447035948303 (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: "Setor de Nosologia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 09:59:34 -0200
Subject: TEL: +4470 3594 8303
The Uk Nationwide Foundation for basic research In conjunction with the
ECOWAS,UNO and the EU We are celebrate the 30th anniversary program, We are
giving out a yearly donation of Â£500,000.00 (five hundred thousand pounds
sterling) each to 100 lucky recipients. These specific Donations/Grants will
be awarded to 100 lucky international recipients worldwide; in different
categories for their personal business development and enhancement of their
educational plans. This is a yearly program, which is a measure of universal
development strategy. was conceived with the objective of human growth,
educational and scientific research, with a mind also for Community
development. Based on the random selection exercise of internet websites and
millions of supermarket cash invoices worldwide, you were selected among the
lucky recipients to receive the award sum of ( Â£500,000.00 )
You are required to contact the Claims Processing Manager below, for your
grant award of qualification documentation and processing of your claims.
Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (N-222-6647, E-910-56),
REF Number: SW/90/0021/7896/56 BATCH No: 34/0065/KJY in all discussions,
forward your complete details to the claims processing officer.
MR. James Smith.
Claims Processing Manager
The Uk Nationwide Foundation Grant Award.
Office Address: Nationwide House
Reg. No. 1065552
TEL: +4470 3594 8303
TEL: +4470 4570 8922
FAX: +4470 9284 2791
NOTE:THE FOLLOWING DETAILS ARE NEEDED FROM YOU AS TO ENABLE YOUR DONATION
FUNDS RELEASE !
1. Full Names: 2. Residential Address:
3. Direct Phone No: 4. Fax Number:
5. Email address: 6. Qualification numbers
7. Sex: 8. Nationality:
9. Occupation: 10.Age:
On behalf of the Board kindly, accept our warmest congratulations.
In your best interest to avoid mix up of numbers and names of any kind,we
request that you keep the entire details of your award strictly from public
notice until the process of transferring your claims has been completed, and
your funds remitted to your account.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or
unscrupulous acts by participants/nonparticipants of this program.
THE PROMOTION COORDINATOR,