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: "casino lotto" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 15:27:37 +0100
Subject: Final Notice.
>From Information Desk:
Euromillion Casino Promo,
Del Pozuelo Alarocon.
We are glad to announce your selection in our Euromillion Casino Promo
draw.You Have Won 150,000,00 Euros. This is a scientific computer game, in which individual email addresses were used. This program is aimed at encouraging internet users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket for it.
Your email address attached to Reference. Number: WIN/09/05/2995/DH, drew in the 2nd category,have been approved for the star prize of 150,000,00 EUROS(One Hundred Fifty Thousand Euros).You are advised not to give your winning information to any third party,so as to avoid double claims.
For further inquiry,please contact our approved Agent,with your Name,Telephone number and your Reference Number: WIN/09/05/2995/DH,to:
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Tel: Tel: +34-695-469-737
Contact Person: Mr.Luis Cataldo
Congratulations once again.
Mrs. Anita Perez (Co-ordinator).