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:
- ",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.
- 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: "Lotto NL" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 17:44:13 +0200
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION
2352 Beds 152 Koningin Julianaplein 21 ,
Den Haag-The Netherlands.
(Lotto affiliate with Subscriber Agents).
From: Susan Console
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lotto NL Winners International programs held on the 20th of April 2010, Your e-mail address attached to ticket #: 00903228100 with prize # 778009/UK drew ?1,000,000.00 which was first in the 2nd class of the draws. you are to receive 450,000, (Four hundred and fifty thousand Euros). Because of mix up in cash pay-outs, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your money (?450,000) has been fully remitted to you by our accredited pay-point bank. This measure must be adhere to avoid loss of your cash prize - winners of our cash prizes are advised to adhere to these instructions to forestall the abuse of this program by other participants. It's important to note that this draws were conducted formally, and winners are selected through an internet ballot system from 60,000 individual and companies e-mail addresses - the draws are conducted around the world through our internet based ballot system. The promotion is sponsored and promoted Lot
We congratulate you once again. We hope you will use part of it in our next draws; the jackpot winning is 85million Euros. Remember, all winning must be claimed not later than 20 days. After this date all unclaimed cash prize will be forfeited and included in the next sweepstake. Please, in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications remember to quote personal and winning numbers in all correspondence with us.
Congratulations once again from all members of Lotto NL. Thank you for being part of our promotional program.
For immediate release of your cash prize to you, please kindly contact our
Paying Bank Atlantic Finance Rotterdam The Netherlands.)
Send them the following:
(i). Your name
(ii) Contact telephone and fax numbers
(iii) Contact Address
(iv) your winning numbers
(v) Quote amount won.
Contact person: Mr. Harry William.
Massainstraat 24b 1103 ML
Congratulations once again.
Yours in service,
Note: reply email to: email@example.com