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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +2348034481687 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "CHEVRON/TEXACO OIL AND GAS COMPANY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 19:44:56 +0700 (ICT)
Subject: CHEVRON/TEXACO OIL AND GAS COMPANY
CHEVRON/TEXACO OIL AND GAS COMPANY
1092 CHEVRON LAYOUT, WUSE ZONE 2,
WUSE, ABUJA. NIGERIA.
Congratulation You Have Been Selected in the on-going chevron texaco
poverty alleviation program.Held this year and you have been awarded
$852,000.00USD. (EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS).
Note that this program is mainly aimed at alleviating poverty,it is also
aimed at encouraging internet Users worldwide.This email is randomly sent
to five people worldwide.If you did receive this email, it means you are
one of the five(5) lucky winners. Your verification number
CONTACT OUR CLAIMS PROCESSING OFFICER IMMEDIATELLY:
Mr. Kenneth Davids
You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as
soon as possible:
3. Country of Residence:
4. Telephone Number:
REMARKS ABOUT CHEVRON/TEXACO:------
We are glad to have you as one of our lucky winners.
Mrs. Rosemary Perkins.
Co-sponsors of this program are listed herein: Shell Oil Company,and the
Federal Government of Nigeria.