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.
- 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.
- +447011164684 (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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Cook Edmund" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 15:09:41 -0800
Subject: Re: Your Reply
DIRECTOR: WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT BUREAU.
FROM: MR. COOK EDMUND
I am Mr. Cook Edmund of World Fund Discovery Management and Payment Bureau I decided to contact you because of the prevailing security report reaching my office and the intense nature of polity in London.
This Body was set up to discover an outstanding unpaid fund being owned to Governments or Individuals all over the world through Contract Payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards and scammed vitamins compensations payments all over the world in conjunction with FIRST INLAND BANK PLC London United Kingdom.
Perhaps, this is to inform you about our plan to send your fund to you via Our Corresponding Paying Bank as stated above, this system will be easier for you and for us. We are going to send your contract part payment of $3.9M Million to you via Bank Transfer into your designated Bank account you will provide to them. I have secured your Fund Ownership Certificate needed to cover this fund.
Be informed that I will use my position as The Director of WORLD FUND MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT BUREAU, to release this fund to you and make sure you receive it within a short period of time.
Opinions; all you need to do now is to send the information stated below for easy and fast communication towards the realization of this fund into your Bank Account.
Your Full Name ___________
Your Complete Address: ________
Your Private Email Address_______
Your Occupation/ Position: ___________
Name of City of Residence: _________
Date of Birth (Day/Month/Year): _________
Direct Telephone Number;
Mobile Number: ____________
Fax Number: ___________
I shall be expecting to hear from you along with the information stated above on my personal email address: email@example.com
Mr. Cook Edmund.
World Fund Discovery Management and Payment Bureau
Tel: +44 701 116 4684