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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- 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.
- +447035980225 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "NOKIA COMMUNICATION" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 16:00:07 +0200
Subject: NOKIA 2010 AWARD
1O4 NOKIA DRIVE
STAMFORD SW1V 3DW
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.
NOKIA CONNECTING PEOPLE PROMOTION PROGRAMMES.
We are pleased to inform you, the result of the first
Online promotion program conducted by United Kingdom Nokia
Communications in collaboration with the United Kingdom
CHARITY DONATION. Your email address is among the
(30) Thirty Lucky winners who won Â£1,000,000.00GBP (One
Million Great British Pound Sterling) and a brand New BMW
550i 2009 Model each on the NOKIA CONNECTING PEOPLE
You were entered as an independent candidate and your email
Was attached to ticket number (NOK-1000) and ballot number
(NORBA-1Q).The online draws was conducted by a random
Selection of email addresses from an exclusive
list of 100,000,000 E-mail addresses picked by an advanced
automated random computer search from the internet. However,
no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned
to different ticket numbers for representation and
privacy. Lottery Prize must be claimed no later than 10 days
from date of Draw Notification after the Draw date in which
Prize has won. Any prize not claimed within this period
will be forfeited.
The selection process was carried out through random
selection in our computerized email selection machine
(TOPAZ) from a database of over 250,000,000 email addresses
drawn from all the continents of the world. Please note
that your lucky ticket and ballot numbers falls
within our European booklet representative (Nokia office)
in The United Kingdom. This Lottery is approved by the
British Gaming Board and licensed by The International
Association of Gaming Regulations (IAGR).
To file for your claim, please contact your Claims
Agent. Furnish him with
your winners Information's as stated
below via this email address and also send to him any of
your identification copy, either your international
passport or National identity card for the processing:
1. FULL NAMES:
5. MARITAL STATUS:
7. TELEPHONE NO:
8. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
9. AMOUNT TO BE CLAIMED:
Mr. Johnny Morgan
Claims/Customer Service Department
United Kingdom Nokia Office
Telephone Number: +4470 35980 225
Mrs. Sandra Humphrey.