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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- "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.
- +447035927765 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Canadian Lotto Inc" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 08:45:55 +0330
Subject: Congratulations You Have Won £500,000.00
Notice: You should kindly direct your replies to the bellow email address of the claims agent, as any reply you send to the sender will not be given attention to.
Dear Lucky Winner,
We happily announce to you the result of the National Lotto 6/49 lottery draws held on Nov 2009, Lotto 6/49 in Essex United Kingdom and Ontario, Canada. All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws system and extracted from over 10,000.00 companies and personal e-mail addresses.
Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: B9564 7560 with serial number 046560 drew the winning numbers 6 7 14 16 17 27 Bonus 32. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £500,000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING) in cash credited to file EAAL/9080118308/08.
To file for your claim, please contact our corresponding agent in London, United Kingdom immediately you read this message for quick and urgent release of your fund.
Contact information is as follow:
Mr. Gabby Smith.
Tel: +4470359 27765
Here are the informations needed for you to fill out:
9.Country Of Residence
***Due to possible mix up of some numbers and email contacts, we ask that you keep this award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by some participants of this program.***
Congratulations once more from all members and staff of this promotional lottery program.
Miss Celine John.