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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 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.
- email@example.com (Rediffmail, India; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "EVENTS MANAGER"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:40:22 +0100
Subject: DEAR WINNER,
ATTACHED HEREIN IS THE WINNING INFORMATION FOR YOUR RESPONSE AND
PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO PROVIDE TO US ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION SO AS
TO HELP US
CARRY OUT OUR DUTY EFFECTIVELY ON THE REMITTANCE OF YOUR FUND TO
YOUR PROVIDED INFORMATION.
YOUR ADEQUATE AND URGENCY IN RESPONSE WILL AS WELL ASSIST OUR
ACCOUNTING INTELLECTS TO DISBURSE YOUR WINNING FUND TO YOU IN NO TIME
WITHOUT ERRORS OF OMISSION OR COMMISSION.
ONCE AGAIN ACCEPT OUR WARM CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT UK.
DR. EDWARD LEWISA
WWE.WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT PROMO.
EMAIL TO : email@example.com