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 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "anna miguel" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 23:45:25 -0300
Subject: Your Email Won The Prize
CUSTOMER SERVICE, VALENCIA.
REFERENCE NUMBER: MCV-RX/E-3929
BATCH NUMBER: 2009/330/MCV
OFFICIAL WINNING NOTIFICATION.
We are pleased to inform you of the released results of Sweepstakes
Promotion organized by Microword Corporations, in conjunction with the
foundation for the promotion of software products, held on 11th April,
2009,in Valencia,Spain. Your email address emerged as one
of the online Winning emails, in the 3rd category and therefore attracted
a cash award of 750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros)
For more information and to begin your claim, Contact
Our Foreign Transfer Manager:
Tel:0034 634 184 321
This Email Lottery is Sponsored by Microword Coporation and all the
members of MSFT Word Resource Consortium Software Promotion Companies.
This internet E-mail draw is held periodically and is organized to
encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer literacy worldwide.