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 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "japan international lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +8613006859229 (China, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "WANG LEE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 14:37:02 +0800
Subject: CONGRATULATION !!! YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS WON YOU PROMOTION
THE JAPAN LOTTERY PROMOTION
PROMOTION/PRIZE 2009 AWARD
DEPT YAGASHI MAO AVENUE
65 DIPLOMAT ROAD,ORTIGAS BUILDING
PROMOTION OFFICIAL PRIZE NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws of the Japan International Lottery Worldwide Promotion, your email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) each on the Japan Lottery Promotion dated as stated above.This is from the total price of $10 million United State Dollars shared among the 20 lucky winners you are therefore approved for a lump payment of $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
However the results were released today and your email attached to ticket number (343-221-8756) and ballot serial number (454-17) was among the winners.The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 290,600 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet. However, no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy.
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.
This Lottery is approved by the Japanese Gaming Board and also Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).This lottery is the 3rd of its kind and we intend to sensitized the public.
As indicated by the computerized selection machine,your lucky winning number falls within our Asia booklet representative office in HONG KONG/
CHINA as showed in the coupon.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential until your claim is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program.
In other to claim your $500,000.00 prize winning,which has been deposited in a nominated bank with your email address which won you the prize.However,you will have to fill the form below and send it to the promotion manager of THE JAPAN LOTTERY PROMOTION for verification and then you will be directed to the bank where a cheque of $500,000.00 has already been deposited in your favour.
ADDRESS:(RESIDENT ADDRESS ONLY)...............................
Please you are adviced to complete the form and send it immediately to our Promotion manager through email for prompt collection of your fund
(CONTACT PROMOTION MANAGER)
NAME: DR WANG LEE
E MAIL: email@example.com
PHONE: +86 13006859229
You are to keep all the lotto information away from the general public,especially your ticket number and ballot number.(this is important as a case of double claiming will not be entertained)
Staff of Japanese International Lottery Company are not to partake in this Lottery.
Accept my hearty congratulations once again!
MR WILLIAM E.B
(VICE PRESDENT FINANCE)