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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- 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)
- 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.
- +447011133550 (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 (Safe-mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Angela Robinson" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 06:08:26 +0430
Subject: CFI PROGRAMS 2010: FINAL NOTICE
UK MULTINATIONAL LOTTERY PROMO.
MANCHESTER 450, TW3 1SJ,
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
AFFILIATE OF UK NATIONAL LOTTERY.
CONGRATULATIONS: YOU WON £850,000.00
We are pleased to inform you of the result of UK Multinational
Lottery Inter. which was held on the 5th September, 2010. Your
e-mail address attached to e-ticket number: 834509819, with Prize
Number: 237359446 drew a prize of £850,000.00 (EIGHT HUNDRED AND
FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS).
This lucky draw came first in the 2nd Category of the Sweepstake.
You will receive the sum of £850,000.00 (EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY
THOUSAND POUNDS) from our authorized bank. Because of some mix-up
with sweepstake prizes, including the time limited placed on the
payment of your prize: £850,000.00, we advice that you keep all
information about this prize confidential until your funds have been
transferred to you by our nominated bank which you will contact for
the release of your prize.
You must adhere to this instruction, strictly, to avoid any delay
with the release of your funds to your person. This program has
been abused severally in past, so we are doing our best to forestall
further re-occurrence of false claims. This sweepstake was conducted
under the watchful eyes of 8,000 spectators. Your e-mail address
was selected and came out first by an e-ballot draw from over 450,000
e-mail addresses (Personal and Corporate e-mail addresses).
This program is sponsored by CFI Networks to compensate faithful
internet surfers around the globe. Congratulations once again for
becoming one of the few lucky winners. With your permission, your
e-mail will also be included in the next sweepstake of £1,000,000.00
(ONE MILLION POUNDS) and a HONDA CIVIC CAR, 2010 MODEL.
You must claim your prize: £850,000.00 not later than 14-days
from the moment you receive this e-mail. In order to avoid
unnecessary delays with your claim from the bank; please contact
them immediately, and quote your winning and personal information
now, and in all your correspondence with the bank. Here is the
Bank: BARCLAYS BANK PLC.
Name: DR. MORGAN DAVID
Tel: +44 701-113-3550
Furnish the bank officer with the following:
1. Full Names / Address
2. Nationality / Date of Birth
3. Sex / Marital Status
4. Occupation/ Company
5. Telephone/Fax Number
6. Monthly Income
Angela Robinson (Mrs.)
(Co-ordinator. UK Multinational Promo®)