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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- 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.
- +447024096270 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447024028482 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447075767527 (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "BRITISH AMERICA TOBACCO AWARD" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 21:52:46 +0800
Subject: Winning cash prize=?ISO-8859-1?Q?_of_=A31?=,000,000.00 GBP
BRITISH AMERICA TOBACCO LOTTERY cash
PO Box 1010
Manchester L70 1NL, United Kingdom.
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
We happily announce to you the draw winner of the BRITISH AMERICA TOBACCO
LOTTERY cash prize of £1,000,000.00 GBP (ONE Million Pounds Sterlings) held
this April 2010 in London Uk.The selection process was carried out through
random selection in our computerized email selection system(ess) from a
database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from which you were selected.
The BRITISH UK. Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board. To begin the
processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduaciary claims department
for more infomation as regards procedures to claim your prize.
Agents Name: Fred Williams
+ 44 702 402 8482
Fax: + 44 7075767527
BRITISH AMERICA TOBACCO LOTTERY
Sweepstakes International Program
__________ Information from ESET Mail Security, version of virus signature database 5028 (20100414) __________
The message was checked by ESET Mail Security.