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:
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447017036646 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MICROSOFT." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 18:48:15 -0600
CONGRATULATIONS/YOU WON SUMS OF ? 500,000.00
Microsoft web / Email usage Campaign
Microsoft Online Promotions
REF: BTD/969/10, BATCH: 59978ED.
LOTTO NUMBER 00012399HE.
Lucky Serial NO 3772554,
The prestigious Microsoft has set out and successfully organized an awards programme to mark our yearly
web/email usage awareness campaign, we rolled out over Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds
((? 500,000.00) for the recently concluded web and email usage promotions. Participants for the draws
were randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of World Wide Web (www) hosts, from whose
patronage we have become what we are today.
Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached REF: BTD/969/07, BATCH: 59978ED, Lucky
Serial NO 3772554,which subsequently won you Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds
(? 500,000.00) in our recently concluded promotions/campaign.
Hence you are advised to contact claims and processing agent;
HON: JONATHAN GREER
Mobile: +44 701 703 6646
with the following details to file for claims and avoid delays and complications of funds claim while the
promotions last. Kindly contact the agent on the above email stating the under listed Information.
**Next Of Kin..........................
Necessary information and procedures would be passed across in due course.Once again Congratulations
and we do like to hear from you soon.
Mr. Jonathan Greer
On behalf of Microsoft mail usage Promotions Board.