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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million dollars" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Irvan Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 13:02:15 -0700
Subject: SOUTH AFRICAN WORLD CUP 2010 FREE LOTTERY DRAW
SOUTH AFRICAN WORLD CUP 2010 FREE LOTTERY DRAW
HEADQUARTERS. ZURICH SWITZERLAND.
PO Box 1010
We are please to announce you as one of the 10 lucky winners in the Free Lottery draw held on the 29th May 2010. All 10 winners email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 20,000,000, 00 international emails.. World cup Draw. Consequently, you have therefore been approved for a total payout of USD$ 1, 000, 000, 00 (ONE MILLION DOLLARS) only. Your email address emerged along side 9 others as a category to the winners in this year's Annual Lottery Program which will be helding once every year till the 2010 finals in South Africa.
The world cup lottery 2010 is proudly sponsored by the Microsoft Corporation, Coca Cola, Nokia, MTN, the Intel Group, Toyota, Toshiba, Dell computers, and mostly by the South African Government. The world cup free lottery draw is held once a year. and is so organized to encourage the use of internet and computers. And also to advertise the South Africa 2010 World Cup world wide. We are proud to say that over US $ 20 Million are won annually in more than 150 countries world wide.
World cup 2010 South Africa. Consequently, you have therefore been approved for a total pay out of usd$1,000,000.00 (One million dollars) only. The following particulars are attached to your lotto payment order:
(i) Winning Numbers: 37-13-43-85-67-11
(ii) Email Ticket Number: FL754/22/76
(iii) Lotto Code Number: FL09622CH
(iv) The File Ref number: FL/04/736207152/CH
V, Your Full name
Vi, Your Occupation, Age,Telephone Number, City And Country.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim your prize money. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please be warned.
Please Contact Your Claim Agent For Your Payment:
CONTACT PERSON: MR.MARK DAVID.
Park Hurst, Balfour-Unit 1440
JOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG 2001
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
TELEPHONE:+27 83 687 6562
South African President
Dr Irvan Johnson
World cup 2010