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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Federal Bureau of Investigation" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 11:37:28 +1100
Subject: Alert from FBI IYITJYIENP
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY DIVISION
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING,
WASHINGTON, DC USA
This e-mail has been issued to you in order to Officially inform you that we have completed an investigation on an International Payment in which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company located in Manchester, United Kingdom. With the help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring Network System) we discovered that your e-mail address was automatically selected by a newly introduced Online Balloting System, this has legally won you the sum of $800,000.00 US Dollars.
The name of the Lottery Company in which presently owes you the sum of $800,000.00 US Dollars is- Alliance Global Lottery Company. They ran an Internet Balloting system which automatically selects e-mail addresses all over the world, this system selects alphabets and numbers automatically and once it has gathered several alphabets, it then randomly selects domains. In this case, your e-mail address was one of the lucky winners.
Alliance Global Lottery Company placed an advert on their local TV stations, Radio stations, Websites and even hand bills. Due to the advertisement, your e-mail address must have been compromised which has caused you to receive a lot of unsolicited e-mails. We have placed a law suit against the Lottery Company claiming that you were never paid the sum of $800,000.00 US Dollars, they have hereby pleaded and requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation should contact you on their behalf to immediately proceed towards sending the winner its legal prize as stated above.
Due to the pressure from the Federal Bureau of Investigation placed upon Alliance Global Lottery, they have deposited the sum of $800,000.00 US Dollars at a bank located in United Kingdom and the name of the bank is- The Hamilton Group. The account has been setup as an International Account and presently holds the balance as stated above, therefore the funds shall be delivered to you in form of a Wire Transfer. You are hereby required to immediately contact your appointed agent with the following information requested below:
HOME PHONE NUMBER:
CELL / MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:
You are required to immediately contact your agent with the above requested details and send the information to the following information below:
CONTACT AGENT DETAILS BELOW:
CONTACT AGENT NAME: JAMES WELLINGTON
CONTACT AGENT E-MAIL: email@example.com
Once you contact the agent stated above, he shall contact you back with further instructions on how to proceed with your transaction. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has authorized you to proceed as we guarantee maximum assurance that your funds will be released and transferred to you without any further delay.
Robert S. Mueller III,
Federal Bureau of Investigation.