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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +31645139114 (Netherlands, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Lucky Day Lottery NL <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 16:58:35 +0200
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
Lucky Day Lottery NL
Laan van Hoornwijck 55
2289 DG Rijswijk
We are pleased to inform you that your email address has won 980,000:00
Euro (Nine Hundred and Eighty Thousand Euro Only) in the Netherlands Lucky
Day Lottery Sweepstakes promotional program, conducted on the 21st day of
August 2009.This is a free promotional program sponsored by consortium of software
companies, which means Lottery tickets were not sold.
For more information/procedure of your winning claim, you are advice to
contact our processing department with the contact information below,
provide them with your winning details below and your winning email address.
Peter Bakker (Mr).
Lottery Processing Dept.
Your Winning Details.
Ref No: ZILI/562-5/7087
Batch No: 7239/3547JQ.
E-Ticket No: KUK-7708-217-765
Serial No: CL/9617/037865
NOTE: Please be warned, your winning and its entire information are to be
kept strictly confidential, this is to avoid previous bad experience this
program has suffered, such as abuse of this program by other internet user
who use the name of this company for unscrupulous activities and double
claiming of winning entitlement because of insecurity of winning information on the part of
beneficiaries. Always call to ensure you are dealing with the right
Mrs. Anton Smith.
Visit our website at: http://www.luckyday.nl
Lotto is een onderdeel van De Lotto. Copyright(c) 2007 by De Lotto, the