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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- 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.
- +448712379877 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Cenard Perr Gatewill"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 03:16:15 +0530
Subject: YOU HAVE WON AWARD
EUROP E-LOTTERY INC
The Promotion Department
22 Garden Close, Stamford ,
Lincs , PE9 2YP ,
London United Kingdom .
Dear email owner,
We are pleased to notify you the "Winner" of our last Secured Mega Jackpot
Online Sweepstakes result.
This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and all
email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly selected
from an internet resource database of registered software and domain users.
We are glad to inform you that you have won a prize money of Two Million,
Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only.
and one MacBook Pro Laptop in our last E-lottery promotional draw.
The online E-lottery draws was conducted from an exclusive list of
25,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an
advanced automated random computer search from the internet. No tickets
Reference Number: EU-14/AA002351-ES
E-ticket number: EU1274/2010-12
Amount:Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only.
You may wish to establish contact with us for claims via e-mail with
the particulars presented below:
Contact: Cenard Perr Gatewill
Event Manager II
In line with the governing rules of claim, you requested to furnish us With the following information:
Date Of Birth........
And Reference Number;..........