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:
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- 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.
- +447045719992 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704956313 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 13:15:38 +0100
Subject: Google 10th Anniversary
Google 10th Anniversary Award=
London W1U 4RY, United Kingdo=
Fax:+44 870 495 6313, +44 870=
We are pleased to inform you =
that your email address has won an Award in the Google 10 Years Anniv=
ersary Awards as organized by Google Inc.,held on setp10,2009. in
London, United Kingdom.
Google Inc. randomly selected=
20 email addresses through a computer ballot system to receive an aw=
ard of Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds (=A3 500,000.00) ea=
as a part of their for-profit=
philanthropic wing (GOOGLE.ORG) promotion.
Awards MUST be claimed by the=
email owner ONLY,not later than 3 weeks from the day of notification=
Award Reference code: GOOGLE5=
Send your complete personal i=
nformation with your Award Ref.and File no. to us to enable us proces=
s your claim
1. Full name:
3. Contact Address:
4. Telephone/Fax no:
5. Marital Status:
Director of Operations: Dr. C=
Tel: Tel: +=
Fax: +44 87=
049 56313,+44 870 471 8742
Please do not reply if you ar=
e NOT the owner of this email address.
After 10 years of establishme=
nt, Google Inc is worth over 23 Billion US Dollars with over 20,000 w=
orkers worldwide making it the best and most successful online search=
engine in the world..<=