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:
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- +447006086557 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447011164244 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447006086568 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- 7011164244 fax line: +44-700-608-6568,+447006086557. email: email@example.com endeavour to quote your qualification numbers (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "CATHOLIC AID MISSION" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 07:19:52 -0500
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary!!! 03-02-2010
This is to notify you that you have been choosen By the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Aid (NGO USA) as one of the final Recepients of a Cash Grant/Donation Economic growth and a poverty alleviation scheme.Catholic Aid (U.S.A) a Multi-Million Pounds NGO group was established with the objective Of Human Growth,Educational and Community development.
In line with the 28 years anniversary program, the Catholic Aid (U.S.A) in conjunction with the European Council is giving out One Hundred Million Pounds Sterling as specific Donations/Grants to 150 lucky international recipients worldwide in different categories for Business development and Social.These funds are freely given to use for your business and educational development, charitable work and your community development at large.
Your Email was selected Based on an internet random selection exercise, You therefore are confirmed one of the lucky recipients and are entitled to 850,000.00 (eight hundred and fifty thousand Pounds Sterling Only) as charity donations/aid from the Catholic Aid (USA).
You are required to Contact immediately the Catholic Aid (UK) paying bank below by email or telephone.
Endeavour to quote Your Qualification Number: (N-222-6747, E-900-56) for qualification documentations, verification and processing of your 850,000.00 Pounds Sterling
Prof Wing K. Phillips
Foreign Exchange Unit,
Barclays Bank Plc.
1 Churchill Place London, Greater London E14 5HP United Kingdom
Direct Tel:- +44 7011164244
Fax Line: +44-700-608-6568,+447006086557.
Endeavour to quote your Qualification numbers (N-222-6747, E-900-56) in all your correspondence with Prof.Down Walker
Please note that this donations/Grants are administered by a U.K Bank and therefore subject to U.K Banking Laws. You are by all means advised to keep this whole information confidential until you have collected your donation,This is to avoid double and unqualified claim, due to beneficiaries informing third parties on cash grant donation.
On behalf of the Board, kindly accept our warmest congratulations!
Director. International Promotions Unit,
PO Box 291
Brooklyn, NY 11220-9020