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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FACE BOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 02:06:08 -0800
Subject: FACE BOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY.
FACE BOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY.
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
BATCH NUMBER: FB-0281/544
SERIAL NUMBER: 99352748-2012
TICKET NUMBER: FB-172-60
The Entire Face book Team are very happy to inform you that your name appear on the FACE BOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY and we are giving out the total sum of US$950,000.00 (Nine HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) which is what you have just won.
Your name was selected in a raffle that was made for the FACE BOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY for the new year 2013 with the lucky number (FB-225-7736) so we need your fast response so that we can proceed with the claim process of your winnings.
Your name was selected by Mr Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Face book (Founder & amp Chief Executive Officer ). The promotion was made to make all face book users to benefit from the profit the company made while they use facebook.
Face book is the first and ever largest means of meeting both old and new friend.
The promo was done to serve as a means of appreciation to visitors on our site and also to help people to fight off poverty and to maintain a good standard of living.
Kindly contact Mr. Thomas Charles the General secretary of the FACE BOOK TEAM and appointed as your claims officer via this email (email@example.com) immediately with the following information about you below:
Private Mobile Number:
As soon as he gets your email with all the information stated above he will tell you on what next to do as regards the claiming and receiving of your winnings of US$950,000.00.
Thank you and More Congratulations.
Agent Name: Thomas Charlse for CDAA
Get some Zero paid Gear FBI SCAM PROTECTED
Note: For security reasons and due to the mix-up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this notification strictly from public notice until your claim
has been processed and your money remitted. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non-participants of this program. BE WARNED"