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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- 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.
- +447045786054 (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: "Sarah Freeman" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 09:41:26 -0800
Subject: 2010 Winners Notification!!!
UK NATIONAL LOTTERY.
GOVERNMENT ACCREDITED LICENSED LOTTERY.
REGISTERED UNDER THE UNITED KINGDOM DATA PROTECTION ACT;
We happily announce to you the draw of Winners in the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY programs , Your email address attached to ticket number
:3456 with serial number :7576/06 drew the lucky number 4-2-274, which subsequently won you the lottery in the first category.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of (1,000,000,00 Million Great British pounds sterling) in cash credited to file wlp/23456/05. This is from a total cash prize of 30,000,000 Million Great British pounds sterling,shared amongst the first thirty (30) lucky winners in this category. In view of this,your (1,000,000,00 Million Great British pounds sterling ) would be released to you by our redemption centers in United Kingdom.
All participants were selected randomly from World wide Website through computer ballot system extracted from over 1,000,000 companies and individuals.
This promotion takes place annually , For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be warned.
To file your claims, please contact our agent:
Mr Edward Reyes.
Universal Trust Inc.
Tel: +44 704-578-6054
Fax: +44 700-593-8726
Note that all winning must be claimed not later than 10days of receiving this notification. After this date all unclaimed, funds will be included
in the next stake.
To avoid unnecessary delay and complications, Please quote your reference/batch numbers in any correspondences with us or our designated agent.
Congratulations once more from our members and staffs and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Note: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified.
Mrs Sarah Freeman,
Public Relations Officer
UK NATIONAL LOTTERY PROMO.
Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the winners will result to disqualification.
This E-mail message (including attachments, if any) is intended for the use of the individual or entity to
which it is addressed and may contain Information that is privileged, proprietary, confidential and exempted
from disclosure , If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited.