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:
- "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: "NZ Lotto" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 05:08:23 -0000
Subject: Congratulations: Draw 1225 - Saturday, November 27, 2010.
New Zealand Lotto Promos
Saturday lotto,Draw 1225 - Saturday, November 27, 2010
We are pleased to announce to you the results of the draws of the NEW ZEALAND ONLINE LOTTERY Program held on Saturday, November 27, 2010.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 564756063211- 884 with Serial number: 6312/08 which
emerged the New Zealand Jackpot winning number 1,7,8,32,36,38,21,3. Supplementary Strike Numbers:38,8,1,36. kindly check the website below to confirm your Winning Numbers.
You won $786,000.00 in Division 1 NZ LOTTO Promotions.For the immediate release of your payment, you are to forward this message via email with the following details included to (Full Names, Contact Address, Telephone Numbers, and Country of Resident) to
On behalf of the staff and management of the NEW ZEALAND LOTTO DEPARTMENT (NZ LOTTO PROMOS), I'd like to congratulate once again.
NZ Online Lottery Programme.