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:
- "tax clearance" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. Never ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "tax clearance" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- 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.
- +447045736519 (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: info <email@example.com>
Reply-To: FedEx Courier Company <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 15:20:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: ATTENTION WINNER:
Do contact the Details below for further Clearifications and to Claim the Award Sum of 5.5 Million Great British Pounds which was Awarded to you in a Personality Test Program held to Honour our Customers.
MICROSOFT MEGA JACKPOT E-MAIL PROMOTION
Director Microsoft Promotion House.
Contact Email: (email@example.com)
Tel: PHONE: :+ 44 704 573 6519
REGISTRATION NO: 9027640
INSURANCE NO: MIC008
TAX CLEARANCE NO: 28456
AMOUNT WON: Â£5,500,000.00
WINNING EMAIL ADDRESS:
Do email the above Claims Administrator, at once with all the Winning Information above for further processing of your winnings. To avoid unnecessary delay. They are needed to proceed.
Mr. Maxwell Philipe.
This email and any attachments to it contain information that is confidential and may be privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information contained in it is strictly prohibited and may be
unlawful. If you have received this email in error, please return it to the sender and delete the email from your records.