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 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)
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- +447011162424 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +448704719707 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 02:33:29 -0500
Uk Gambling Commission
Tower 42, 25th Floor
25 Old Broad Street London
We wish to inform you of the lottery draws held on the 19th of 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.
You are therefore been approved the lump sum pay out in cash to the tune of?
2, 000, 000, 00(Two Million British pounds Sterling) and the total sum is?
20,000,000.00(Twenty Million British Pounds Sterling) shared among the Ten
International winners in this category.
Yourself, attached to Ticket number 356-00098-3211-222, with Serial
09 drew the 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
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
17,000 names from Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, Europe
and Middle East and Asia as part of our International Promotions
is conducted monthly.
To begin your claim process, please contact your claims manager with Details
below and also provide him with the requested information so that He can
expedite the processing of your claims.
FUND RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM:
Rev. Tom Jones
CPA On-line Ltd.
CPA House, London W6 0RX, (registered no.2096020)
Claims Verification Department.
TEL: +44 701 116 2424
Fax: +44 870 471 9707
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your
reference/batch numbers to any correspondences with us or our
Congratulations From all Members and staffs of this program.
Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor