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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- ",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)
- ",500,000" (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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Gen. Louis Hugo" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 18:02:59 -0800
Subject: Congratulation: Email ID Owner !!
Congratulation: Email ID Owner !!
The result of lucky winners from British Lottery Organization. E-mail programs held on last month was announced today. We are happy announce to you that your email has won the total sum of ($3.5 million USD). In our online draw, Your company or your personal e-mail address attached to Ticket Number: BLO/90231/18308/09 Your Batch Number: 074/05/ZY369, Ref.No: NI/940X2/68. Therefore you have been approved for a lump sum pay out of Three Million five hundred thousand USD ($3,500,000.00 USD) through Online Banking Account. We wish to inform you that youre Lottery Winning outstanding debt. Has been scheduled, for immediate payment to you via Online Banking.
Selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (R.S.C.M) from a database of over 10,000,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents in the world. The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email Address from an exclusive list of over 100,000,000 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer Search from the
No ticket was sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy. This is to encourage our prominent Microsoft Internet Explorer users all over the world. To Continues using of Internet. And non users to start making use of internet. Before you will receive your winning you will first open online account with Chattered Wire Bank, which will cost you $ 200 USD. To claim your winning prize now, fill free and contact,
Paying Bank with bellow details:
Bank Name: Chattered Wire Bank Nigeria Plc
Telephone: +009 234 8028783116 to the attention of Professor Ashok Sodje.
Kindly confirm your below informations to Chattered Wire Bank to avoid any mistake.
1. Your full name:
2. Your home or office address not P.O BOX:
3. Direct Contact Telephone Number:
Warning: You are to send $ 200 USD to Chattered Wire Bank first, for opening your online account before your funds will be transfer into your account.
Gen. Louis Hugo.