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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?=AE_ATM_Jackpot_Lottery?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 07:05:58 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Tickets No. lotto/2010/ATM
Free internet lotteries!
Online Lottery Jackpot!
Tickets No. lotto/2010/ATM
Office mail: email@example.com
Dear Lucky Winner,
You have won ATM CARD valued ONE MILLION USD (US$1,000,000.00) From The
Free internet lotteries, Which your e-mail address have been Chosen today
on the 13th July 2010, To free lotto Tickets No. lotto/2010/ATM.
Please forward below details via email.
Name: Mr. Mark Rollins
Tel No.: +234-703-584-3138
1. Full Name:
8. How Do You Feel As A Winner:
Prizes must be claimed within 4 weeks of draw results. Prizes may be claimed
through the results section of the member control panel. Prizes are claimed
on a per-week basis. only one claim submission will be required.
Successful claims will be honoured within 60 days of claim.