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.
- 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:
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Heineken Bottling Company <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:01:13 -0800
Subject: Your e-mail address emerge winner of our promo
HEINEKEN BOTTLING COMPANY
ANTHONIE VAN DIJCKERWEG
THE HEINEKEN COMPANY SEASONAL PROMOTION!
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are delighted to inform you the result of the annual final draws of
Heineken Annual Promo.
The online Heineken Annual Promo draws was conducted by a random
selection of E-mail addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031 E-mail
addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced
automated random computer (TOPAZ) search from the internet. However, no
tickets were sold but all E-mail addresses were assigned to different
ticket numbers for representation and privacy.
After this automated computer ballot, your E-mail address emerged as one
of the Eight (8) lucky winners in the fourth category for the second
prize with the following data:
Ref Number: ASL/941OYI/02/SHYN
Batch Number: HGL-14/28/0046
Ticket Number: 025-11464992-750
You as well as the other winners, are therefore to receive a cash prize
of Six Hundred United States Dollars $600.000.00USD for the total
Your prize award has been insured with your E-mail address and will be
transferred to you upon meeting the requirements, statutory obligations,
verification's, validations and satisfactory report. Please note that
your lucky winning number falls within our European/African
representative office , and your prize of US$600,000.00 will be released
to you from your regional branch office.
You are required to Contact your agent Reverend Kelvin Philimon to help
you in processing your winning fund via his e-mail:
Thank you and congratulations once again!
Mr. David Mark
HEINEKEN Games/Lottery Coordinator.