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 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.
- +447024014762 (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: "NATIONAL LOTTERY 2009 BOARD" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 16:43:49 -0500
Subject: BATCH: 08/H3401/3UK AND REF: NLU/63120973/LY
The board of directors and entire member of staff of the National Lottery
wishes to inform you of the result of the (Email Address Ballot) online
Sweepstakes international program held at the British Headquarter.
Your email account has been picked as a winner of Six Hundred Thousand
Pounds Sterling (£600,000.00) in cash credited to file
This is from a total sum of Four Million, Two hundred Thousand Pounds
Sterling (£ 4,200,000.00) shared amongst seven winners. Your
attached to ticket number: 8VY57104 28 with Serial number 173/02 drew the
lucky numbers 6-6-43-00-47-90 .
Contact Agent: Mr. David Bates
Foreign Services Directorate/ Operation Personnel
Pacifico Sistemas Informáticos GmbH & Co.
Phone: +44 702 401 4762
REF: NLU/63120973/LY AND BATCH: 08/H3401/3UK
1. Full name
4. Tel and fax number.
Mrs. Wilson Stacy,
Executive Zonal Coordinator.
Material Copyright © 2009 The Lottery Co. Ltd.