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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- 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.
- +447023084522 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Maktoob; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Bob Peter" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 05:11:03 +0100
Subject: Re: CONGRATULATIONS !!!
We are hereby happy to inform you that you emerge as one of the winners in the lucky pick of email address on the web. The cheque won is used as compensation to the numerous Internet users, and gotten from the non-claims of winning check of last years lotto winners in the UK lottery international promotions.
To that effect, we had to organize a lucky dip of all e-mail addresses on the web and sectioned them into zones such as the Europe, Asia, America, Africa and the rest.
Under these zones are the regions e.g. under Europe, we have London Ireland, Scotland, Holland etc. It applies to every other zone. So to that effect, your winning fell under the London zone and London UK region.
So therefore, your winning had been sent down to the compensation agent in Charge of that region in the person of Mr. Frank David. You will have to make Contact with him, and follow due procedures to effect the claims of your Package which contains a winning check of £ 1.500,000.00 (One Million Five hundred thousand Great British Pound) for your prompt claims.
COMPENSATION AND FINANCE HOUSE HEAD OFFICE
Finance and Security House
United Kingdom Deposit Firm
FSH Towers Chelsea T45H U.K.
TELL: +44 702 308 4522
FAX: 44 871 263 7491
At the moment, I am very busy at Sydney, Australia because of numerous assignments which I have to carry out.
To that effect, I dont think you will have the opportunity of communicating with me anymore. All you need do is reach the compensation agent Mr. Frank David through his contact e-mail address below:
NAME: MR. Frank David
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
TELL: +44 702 406 7983
Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to Mr. Frank David at the finance house on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact him without
delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith. Thanks and God bless you and your family.
However, I want you to contact him immediately as soon as you receive this because he will be leaving soon on a very long vacation as he did not have any for the past three years due to over time.
My sincere advice to you as a Christian is that you should endeavor to pay your tithe to a bible believing church when you get your winning check.
We require your information to facilitate your claims:
1. Full Names:..........................
2. Residential Address:#..........................
3. Phone Number:..........................
4. Fax Number:..........................
9. Present Country:..........................
Mr. Bob Peter