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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "part of our security protocols" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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.
- 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: "Announcement" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 14:03:06 +0100
Subject: From Information Desk:
>From Information Desk:
70,Van Eeghenstraat, 1071GK
We are glad to announce your selection in our Internet Lottery draws.You Have Won 1,000,000 Euros. This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and all email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly selected from an internet resource database of registered software and domain users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket for it.
Your email address attached to Reference. Number: WIN/08/05/29673/MH and Batch No: 57Z62188893651, drew in the 2nd category,have been approved for the star prize of 1,000,000.00 EUROS(One Million EUROS).
For further inquiry,please contact our paying Bank,with your Name,Telephone number and your Reference Number: WIN/08/05/29673/MH ,to:
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Tel: +31-645-232-209
Contact Person: Dr.Josep Young.
If you are receiving this notice for the first time, Note: because of our commitment to ensuring that winners receive their fund on time, that you will cotinue to receive reminders until final transfer of your prize money to your nominated account.
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your wining information confidential until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocols to avoid double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.
Congratulations from our Management & Staff.
Caroline Laroche (Co-ordinator).
>From Lotto center-The Netherlands.