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.
- 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.
- +27737518941 (South Africa, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: REDKINGS ONLINE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 07:30:39 +0000
Subject: REDKINGS ONLINE PROMOTION!!! YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAVE BEEN SELECTED
AS ONE OF OUR LUCKY WINNER CONTACT MR. GEORGE KAMA ON TEL:+27-73-75-18941 OR
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR WINNINGS.
271 Kings Street,
Congratulations!!!! "You have won USD$1,950,000.00 from Redkings Online Promotions"
For Claiming, Urgently contact;
Mr. George Kama
We wish you success in our Redkings Online Promotions/Email Internet Program made today, which was held on 29th of June 2009. Your Email Address was attached to Ticket No: 07-12-35-54-55-02 Drew the Lucky No: 15-19-24-27-47 + 11 from 800,000 Email Addresses consequently won in the 2nd Category. You have therefore been approved to claim a Star Prize of $1,950,000.00 in cash credited to File No: M1/2007/08/001.
Below is your Winning Details;
Reference No: ZAR/POP-677152/ZA2009
Batch No: ZAR/002831323/M222-23
Amount Won: USD$1,950,000.00
"The Validity period of the winnings is (10) Working Days, of your reply to the Agency; hence you are expected to make your claims immediately, any claim not made before this date will be returned as UNCLAIMED."
To claim your winning prize, you are to contact the appointed agent for the immediate release of your winnings.
Congratulations' once again from all our Staff and thank you for being part of our Promotions.
Mrs. Mary Rossman
Copyrights (C) 2009
(Reg No: 2000/003778/04)