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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: 2012/OLYMPIC ONLINE AWARD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 04:24:19 +0900
Subject: YOU HAVE WON!
2012 GOOGLE & OLYMPIC ONLINE AWARD
Google UK Ltd
76 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9TQ
Attention Email Account Owner,
This is to inform you that your e-mail address has won the sum of
£500,000 FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND BRITISH POUND STERLING in
2012 Google Online Award which was Sponsored by World Bank,2012
Olympics Powered by Google.
No ticket were sold, all emails was selected all search engines and
your email address emerged as one of our Selected Winners in this
Below are your winning details:-
BATCH NUMBERS: 15/435070/CK/KKP
SERIAL NUMBER: 39224959/2006
ONLINE TICKET NUMBER: 356-0009-832-11222
AMOUNT: £500,000 FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND BRITISH POUND STERLING
You are required to contact your Prize claim Agent as soon as you
receive this notice so that he can advise you on what to do.
Do not forget to forward your Winning details to your claim Agent for
NAME: MR. MARK PAULSON
Congratulations once again.
Yours in Service
Public Relations Officer