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:
- "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!
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "INFO PRIZE DETAILS"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 09:04:53 +0100
Subject: Lucky Day Star Prize
Netherland Lucky Day
We are delighted to inform you of our Lucky Day Lotto prize award held on the 16th of February 2010
in Netherland. This lotto awards is fully based on an electronic selection, Winners were picked by
computerized system, drawn from over 43,000,00 companies and individuals e-mail addresses worldwide.
This award is officially announced 16th of March 2010, Your email ID has hereby been approved a lump
sum pay out of 1,319,025 Cent in cash credit file Ref: GNP501/731KW, Batch: AM72/PGS27/09FC,
Winning No: DC61/PDN32/01NL
Simply contact Our Office of Foreign Financial Security From Vsb Netherland for your prize claim
Mr. Rob Van Dirk.
Congratulations! once again.
Yours in service,
Mrs. Marrith Driker
Nl. Lucky Day Loto