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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Emily Simon" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 19:29:19 +0100
Subject: Gewinn Bestättigung
Luckyday Nacional AWARD.2010
We wish to congratulate you over your email success in our computer balloting sweepstake held on 19th of Feb 2010. This is a millennium scientific computer game in which email addresses were used. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging internet
users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it. You have been approve f or the star prize of 450,000.00 (Euros ) CONGRATULATIONS!!
To claim your winning prize you are to contact the appointed agent as soon as possible for the immediate release of your winnings:
Batch No: SUTO/980/TWM/EU
Ticket No: WRNM/SMI/5990
Lucky No: 10-23-44-72-80
Serial No: MUOTI/82536
Luckyday Nacional AWARD.2010
You must contact the appointed agent with your Full Names, Contact Telephone Numbers (Home, Office and Mobile Number and also Fax Number) via email to
process the immediate payment of your prize.
Note: You will be require to pay for the issuance of your winning certificate only. The certificate is your legal prove/guarantee.
The Validity period of the winnings is for 15 working days hence you are expected to make your claimsimmediately, any claim not made before this date will
be returned to the MINISTERIO DE E CONOMIA Y HACIENDA.
Once again congratulations !!!
Mrs Emily Simon
(Group - Coordinator).