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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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.
- +447024014724 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: LA LOTERIE Romande <LR@llr.ch>
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:26:23 -0200
Subject: Lotto Win Notification.
-- LA LOTERIE Romande, Rue Marterey 13, 1002 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Your Reference number: LR/51-CH/4103, & Batch: LR/09/17. LA LOTERIE
Romande PROMO WIN NOTICE This letter is to officially inform you that
your email identity has won EU 2,500,000 (Two Million Five Hundred
Euro) after our final year email draws of LA LOTERIE Romande conducted
last week. Your email identity was attached to serial number : 09-7391
and drew the winning numbers; 9-31-17-23-12-39. No tickets were sold.
For more information and release details you are to contact your
assigned release manager, Mr.William Hartwells via his contact address
below; Mr. Williams Hartwell, The Foreign Services Manager,
Information and Payment Bureau. London Representative Office. Phone: +
44 702 401 4724 Fax: + 44 870 490 8014 Email :
WILLIAMSHARTWELL03@MAIL.MN To avoid unnecessary delays and
complications, please endeavor to quote your reference and batch
numbers as above in every correspondence with your agent. NOTE:
note that you have given three weeks from the date of notificationto
claim your prize from the Lottery Payout Committee. Furthermore you
are seriously advised to keep all winning lottery numbers from the
public in line with our company security protocol to avoid double
claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by unscrupulous
individuals. Once again,congratulations on behalf of all staffs of LA
LOTERIE Romande. Yours truely, Mrs. Jane Frank, Managing Director, LA
LOTERIE Romande (HQ). Switzerland.