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.
- 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 (Yahoo, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "UK ONLINE GAMING BOARD" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 22:20:02 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
THE UK ONLINE GAMING BOARD
Operators of The National Lottery.
3b Olympic Way, Sefton Business Park,
Liverpool , L30 1RD
REF Nº: UKL/9420X2/68.
BATCH Nº: 2010UKL-01
We wish to congratulate you over your email success in our
computer balloting held on the 12th September 2010.This is a Scientific
Computer Game in which email addresses were used.It is a
promotional program aimed at encouraging internet users; Meaning,
you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it.
Contact Mr.Bruce Ferguson with your secret pin code UKL/001/11234 and your
reference number Ref: UK/9420X2/68.
(Email:firstname.lastname@example.org)for the claims of (£516,778.00GBP)