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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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!
Fraud email example:
From: "The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 23:37:00 +0800 (HKT)
The National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO)
Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London
N1 9RL, United Kingdom
OFFICIAL CASH PRIZE ANNUAL WEB ON-LINE GRANT
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws of National Council for Voluntary Organization Promo.
The online National Council for Voluntary Organizations draws was
conducted by a random
of selected email addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031 E-mail
addresses of individuals
and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random
computer (TOPAZ) search from the Internet. However, no tickets were sold
but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for
representation and privacy.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as one
of (12) twelve winners in the fourth category for the second prize with
the following data:
Ref Number: ASL/941OYI/02/SHYN
Batch Number: HGL-14/28/0046
Ticket Number: 025-11464992-750
You as well as the other winners are therefore to receive a cash prize of
£1,500,000.00 Great British Pounds
each from the total payout. Your prize award has been insured with your
e-mail address and will be transferred
to you upon meeting the requirements, statutory obligations,verifications,
validations and satisfactory report. Please
note that your lucky winning number falls within our regional booklet
office in your country as indicated in your play coupon.
You are advice to contact the following claims agent for winning
Claims Agent :Mr Mac Greg
YOU ARE TO INDICATE YOUR PREFER OPTION SUITABLE FOR YOU IN RELEASING OF
1. BANK TO BANK TRANSFER.
2. DELIVERY BY CERTIFIED CHEQUE
once again congratulations!!!!!