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.
- 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.
- +34695469737 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: ozneat <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 11:14:30 +1100
Subject: YOUR EMAIL ID HAS WON
YOUR EMAIL ID HAS WON
Del Pozuelo Alarocon
Amount Won: 150,000,00 Euros
Prize claim expiration date: (19th November 2009)
We congratulate you for being one of the lucky winners of the 2009 online
promo.YOUR EMAIL ID HAS WON 150,000,00 One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros
the first category of our computer ballot free email lottery prize
were selected randomly from the Internet Users through a computer draw
extracted from over a million personal and corporate e-mails that were
listed on line.
Your Winning Ticket/Series No.RJ975489 and your Batch No.448/1803734
No ticket was sold but it is to encourage the use of Internet world wide
receive your prize you are requested to contact the Payment Agent In charge
Your Region in Madrid Spain and send your full details to,CONSULTANT OFFICE
Name: Mr.Luis Cataldo
Official mail: email@example.com
Congratulations once again.
Yours in service,
(Lotto affiliate with Subscriber Agents).