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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "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.
- +447045708253 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704719707 (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: UK GAMBLING COMMISSION <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 19:07:25 +0530
Subject: Batch: 22/523009/LHINT
UK GAMBLING COMMISSION
Victoria Square House
Birmingham B2 4BP
Attention: The Email Account Holder!
RE/ AWARD NOTIFICATION
We wish to inform you of the lottery draws held on the 17th of February 2010 to
declare the winners of the UK GAMBLING COMMISSION. This lottery scheme was
created to bring awareness to the world, being that United Kingdom is hosting
the next Olympics in 2012.
Yourself, attached to Ticket number 356-00098-3211-222, with Serial number
818-09 drew the lucky numbers 67-99-777963, and consequently won the lottery
through a computer ballot system and your email address was gotten through
United Kingdom Information Network Online(U.K.I.N.O) which is affiliated with
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out in cash credited to
file REF NO: .This is from total prize money of £20,000,000.00(Twenty Million
Pounds Sterling) shared among the Five international winners in this category.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
17,000 names from Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, Europe
and Middle East and Asia as part of our International Promotions Program, which
is conducted monthly.
To begin your claim process, please contact your claims manager with details
below and also provide him with the requested information so that he can
Expedite the processing of your claims.
FUND RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM:
Rev. Tom Jones
Tower 42, 25th Floor
25 Old Broad Street London
Claims Verification Department.
Tel: +4470457 08253
Fax: +44 870 471 9707
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your reference/
batch numbers to any correspondences with us or our designated agent.
Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this program.
Thank You for being part of our promotional lottery program.
Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor