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.
- 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 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: Mrs Jane Andersen <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 02:43:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: You won $550,000,00! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you!
MARGIN-TOP: 5px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 5px
MARGIN-TOP: 5px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 5px
$550,000,00! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you!
You won $550,000,00!
Monday, May 3rd 2010
Dear Lucky Winner,
This is to inform you that you have won a
prize money of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand UDS($550,000) for the Prize promotion which is
organized by YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE. Yahoo selected all the email
addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that
subscribed to Yahoo, Msn, Gmail, Hotmail, Juno, Aol,
and few from other private/companies e-mail providers. Ten (10) people are
selected quartely to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected
PAYMENT OF PRIZE / CLAIMS
Winners shall be paid in accordance with
their Settlement Centres. Yahoo Prize Award must be claimed not later than 10
days from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period
will be forfeited and returned to its source as
Stated below are your identification
PIN: ............ 1207
You are expected to contact our co-ordinator Dr. Bratt
Richards Via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
and send your winning identification numbers
with the following informations as to enable our co-ordinator, Dr. Bratt
Richards,facilitate the release of your fund to
4. Telephone Number.........
5. Marital Status..................
8. Date of Birth/Age
9. Identity card(carte identite) If any
Mrs Jane Andersen
SECRETARY TO THE
must keep strict confidentiality of your Prize Award claims to yourself until
your money is successfully handed over to you inother to avoid disqualification
that may arise from double claims. Yahoo Awards Team shall not be held liable
for any loss of funds arising from the above