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.
- 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.
- +447031741764 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "World Health Organization" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 18:40:14 +0200
Subject: Amazing Grant Notification!!...
World Health Organization (WHO)
267 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7HT
4th of February 2010
The Honorable Winner of Our Cash Prize,
World Health Organization (WHO) wish to congratulate you as a winner in our campaign to help smokers to quit or reduce their smoking habit.
For the first time in history winners are selected through computer ballot system and they do not participate in person;below are the winning details;
Coupons Number: WHO2010/RQSN/HK27
Amount Won: £3.2million (Three Million, Two Hundred Great British Pound).
Change smokers life, Stop Tuberculosis, Cancer and other diseases; with your prize and make the world a better place.
Contact us with the information below to claim your cash prize.
World Health Organization