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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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.
- 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: "SOUTH AFRICA FIFA 2010 WORLD CUP LOTTERY" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 11:47:56 +0100
Subject: SOUTH AFRICA FIFA 2010 WORLD CUP LOTTERY
SOUTH AFRICA FIFA 2010 WORLD CUP LOTTERY
South African Fifa 2010 World cup/46664 Bid lottery Award
Lottery Headquarters: 31, Briton Court Carlton East Gate.
We wish to congratulate you over your success in our computer balloting Sweepstakes held on 28th of April, 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 the game.
However, your email address was attached to ticket number 5647560054 188 with serial number 5368/02 draw the lucky numbers 06-09-13-15-40-43-02, which eventually won you the lottery in the first category of the draws. You have been approved to claim a total sum of US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million Five hundred thousand United States Dollars), In cash Credited to file: KTU/9023118308/03. This is from the total prize money of US$80,000,000.00 distributed to winners from 1st to 3rd categories.
Note that this program was largely promoted and sponsored by 2010 World Cup host South Africa, a group of philanthropist, industrialists from the internet hardware industry and some other big multinational firms who wish to be anonymous. You may wish to establish contact via e-mail with the particulars presented below citing the batch and reference numbers to this letter. Ref No: SA/9420X/68, Batch No: 074/05/ZY369.
And bear in mind that We have many representative offices Worldwide such as in EUROPE, AMERICA, ASIA and AFRICA, Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our Africa booklet representative office here in South Africa as indicated in our play coupon, In view of this, your US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) would be released to you by our affiliate bank here in South Africa or through any of their correspondent bank out side South Africa.
To claim your prize, please contact your Claim Agent here in South Africa immediately you read this message for quick and urgent process to transfer your fund; his contact information is as follows:
Name: Mr. Ronald Bosch
Telephone number: +27 78 629 1279
Fax number: +27 86 573 3924
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
PLEASE CALL YOUR CLAIM AGENT ON HIS DIRECT PHONE NUMBER AND ALSO FORWARD YOUR WINNING INFORMATION TO HIM IMMEDIATELY, FOR HIM TO PROCESS YOUR FILE FOR PAYMENT.
Our winners are assured of the utmost standard of confidentiality and press anonymity until the end of proceedings, and beyond where they so desire. Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality until the end of proceedings to circumvent problems associated with fraudulent claims.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Mrs. Gladys Milton (Zonal Co-coordinator).