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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024085571 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447005921646 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "UK GAMBLING COMMISSION" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 01:56:33 -0800
Subject: Batch: 22/523009/LHIN
We wish to inform you of the lottery draws held on the 13th JUNE 2010 to declare the winners of the UK GAMBLING COMMISSION. This lottery scheme was created to bring awareness to the world, being that United
Kingdom is hosting the next Olympics in 2012.
Yourself was attached to Ticket number 356-00098-3211-222, with Serial number 818-09 the draw lucky numbers 67-99-777963, and consequently won the lottery through a computer ballot system and your email address was gotten through United Kingdom Information Network Online(U.K.I.N.O) which is affiliated with the internet.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout in cash credited to file REF NO: .This is from total prize money of £20,000,000.00(Twenty Million Pounds Sterling) shared among the ten international winners in this category.
1. Full Name.. 2. Address....3. Country....4. Telephone Number.... 5. OCCUPATION & AGE:...6. REFERENCE NUMBER:...7. BATCH NUMBER: ......
Rev. Tom Jones
CPA On-line Ltd.
CPA House,London W6 0RX, (registered no.2096020)
Claims Verification Department.
Fax: +44 700 592 1646