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)
- ",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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024047929 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:55:18 -0300
Subject: CALL FOR CLAIMS
National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO)
8 All Saints Street,London
N1 9RL, United Kingdom
Attn: Ref: BTD/747/09
OFFICIAL CASH PRIZE ANNUAL WEB ONLINE GRANT
You have just won the sum of £1,500,000.00 ( One Million Five Hundred
Thousand Great British Pounds) in the on-going Ncvo Web Awards Promo.
For more information and procedures of claims, Contact the CEO of NCVO
with your winning verification number (NU-46819-890CE)
CHOOSE METHOD OF PAYMENT
(1) BY CERTIFIED CHEQUE
(2) BANK TO BANK TRANSFER
PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION'S
NAMES: COUNTRY: ADDRESS: STATE/PROVINCE: GENDER: AGE : OCCUPATION:
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER: HOUSE PHONE NUMBER: NATIONALITY: MARITAL STATUS:
Mrs joan Anderson
Management (c)2010 Ncvo Annual Web Promo(r)