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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- +447031928738 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704794618 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UK LOTTERY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 15:52:03 +0100 (BST)
Subject: DEAR CONTACT THE COURIER COMPANY
The National Lottery,
P O Box 1010 ,
Liverpool , L70 1NL
CONGRATULATIONS!This is to inform you that you have been cleared a winner of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY online Sweepstakes International program.
I am happy to inform you,your Original Certificate and your Certified bank cheque has been forwarded to the courier company.
Find below the details of the courier company.
TNT COURIER SERVICE
ADDRESS OF HEAD OFFICE:20- 22 Eastbury Road , London , E6 6LP
NAME:MR TERRY HOPKINS(Dispatch Officer)
TEL1:+44 703 192 8738
TEL2:+44 703 192 8716
TEL3+44 703 192 4580
FAX :+44 8704794618
You are advised to send the courier company a mail to their email address for their courier cost.When contacting them,you are to include this Order number as your subject.Please you are advised to write down the order number and save it.
Note: you are to Quote your complete names,and your direct phone number so that they can honour your letter.Once again I say congratulations and always inform me with your dealings with the courier company.
UK National Lottery
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