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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "2010 promotional draw" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "email@example.com" (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!
- 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.
- +447045720345 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: British Canadian Lottery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: British Canadian Lottery <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 04:34:27 +0000 (GMT)
BRITISH CANADIAN LOTTERY BC-49,
70 Foster Drive, Suite 800, Sault Ste.,
Marie, Ontario, P6A 6V2, Canada.
Confirm Winning: http://www.canada.com/life/lotteries/lottery_results.html
Winning No: 30 31 34 37 44 46 28
Bonus No: 28
We happily announce to you the draw of the Special Global 2010 Promotional Draw held on the WED 03/10, 2010 by Canadian Government in collaboration with the British Government in United Kingdom and Ontario Canada. Your e-mail address attached to Ref No: IMP/73253CA/2010, with Batch No: 642376/CA/2010 drew the Winning No: 30 31 34 37 44 46 28 Bonus No:28 for BC-49 Lotto under the choice of the lottery in the 1st category of bi-weekly six.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws system and extracted from over 10,000,000 companies and personal e-mails. So your email is your online automatic ticket that qualified you for this draw, no tickets were sold.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of 520,000.00 GBP (Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand Pounds Sterling) In view of this, your 520,000.00 GBP (Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand Pounds Sterling) Will be release to you by Royal Bank Of Scotland London-UK. So you are required to forward the following details to our trusted Bank to help facilitate the processing of your claims. Do adhere to the directive of RBS.
You are to contact the Royal Bank Of Scotland for payment with details below:
Contact Person: Mr. Hamilton Reeds
Bank Name: Royal Bank Of Scotland
FILL PAYMENT PROCESSING FORM:
(1) FULL NAME:
(2) FULL ADDRESS:
(5) TELEPHONE NUMBER:
(6) TOTAL AMOUNT WON:
(7) YOUR WINNING NUMBERS:
*Winners are advised to keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid fraudulent claim (IMPORTANT) pending the prize claim by Winner.
Elizabeth Mayer (Mrs.).
Lottery Controller General