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.
- +34672533020 (Spain, 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)
- mr. pedro martin. tel: +34 -672-533-020 email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org note: this email lottery is (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Microword Corporations" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 22:46:51 -0700
Subject: To begin your claim, do file for the release of your winnings.
APARTADO DE CORREOS
48, 28230 las Rozas,
Reference No: Msft-2009-X74-RS
Batch No: Msft-2009- GM-0221
Official Winning Notification.
Welcome to Microword Corporation new year promotions, 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, Aug 2nd 2009, Madrid-Spain.
Your email address emerged as one of the on-line Winning emails, in the
1st category and therefore You have been approved for a cash award
500,000.00Euros (Five Hundred Thousand Euros) a total cash prize of Five
Million Euros Shared among the ten International winners in the 1st
To begin your claim, do file for the release of your winning by contacting
our accredited agent: Foreign Transfer Manager:
Mr. Pedro Martin.
TEL: +34 -672-533-020
Note: This Email Lottery is sponsored by Microword Corporation, and all
the members of Spanish Msft Word Resource Consortium Software Promotion
All winnings must be claim not later than 13-08-09 after this date funds
might be returned back to Microword Resource Madrid, This internet E-mail
draw is held periodically.
And is organized to encourage the use of internet users, And to promote
computer literacy worldwide.
Mrs. Roselyn Gomes.