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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447045712755 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Coca Cola Bottling Company <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 14:47:52 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Web-event Beneficiary!!!
COCA COLA BOTTLING COMPANY.
#46 Kempshott Road,
London, SW16 5LQ
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
Congratulations Email User,
The Board of Directors and the International Promotion Department of Coca Cola Bottling Company in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme and Eircom Telecommunication company wish to gladly inform you that your email has won a prize money of Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pound Sterlings (Â£750,000.00) in our 2010 Global Upliftment Programme. This program is aimed to encourage you to patronize our products and also help uplift familiesâ financial status around the globe, hence no ticket sold. To claim your winning prize you are to send the following information about yourself to the claims processing manager for verification & direction. Do Contact the processing manager with the below contact information;
Claims Processing Manager: Mr. Joe Cole
Contact Number: +447045712755
Full Name: Contact Address: Age: Direct Contact Number: Sex/Gender: Occupation: Country: Nationality:
On behalf of the entire management and staff we say Congratulations once
Mrs. Johan Robinson
Coca Cola Online Co-ordinator