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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- 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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "A-Promo" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 08:53:37 +0800
FROM: THE DIRECTOR
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the
Lottery Winners International programs held on the
25/07/2010. Your e-mail address attached to ticket
Number :EL-23133 with serial number: EL-123542,batch
Number: EL-35, lottery ref number: EL-9318 and drew
Lucky numbers 7-1-8-36-4-22 which consequently won in
The 1st category, you have therefore been approved for
a lump sum pay out of US$1,500,000.00 (One Million,
Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars)
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that
You keep your winning information confidential until
Your claims has been processed and your money Remitted
To you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid
Double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program
By some participants. All participants were selected
Through a computer ballot system drawn from over
40,000 companies and 20,000,000 individual emails
Addresses and names from all over the world.
This promotional program takes place every year. This
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a group of
Successful electronic dealers. To file for your claim,
Please contact our paying officer.
Mr. Tseng Ullah (Lottery Director)
E-Lottery Company Asia
29B, Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur,
TEL: +60 142479962
Remember, all winning must be claimed not later than
two weeks after first notification.
Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and
Complications please remember to quote your reference
Number and batch numbers in all correspondence.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff
And thank you for being part of our promotional
Mrs. MAHDIYAH UMNIYAH