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.
- 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: "VODAFONE ONLINE AWARD PROGRAM" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 05:21:55 +0700 (ICT)
Subject: Attention: Confirmed Winner !
Attention: Confirmed Winner !
This is a program from Vodafone Company in UK, England, a program to award
all Vodafone Subscriber worldwide because of their immerse support for the
Vodafone Company in this past few years. We source through the Internet
Subscriber email list and conducted a draw from all e-mails register in
our Vodafone Subscriber list and your email emerge as one of the Vodafone
lucky winner to be awarded the sum of (₤750.000.00 GBP Only). We
this notice sent to you via the Internet will get to you on time to claim
your winnings from our authorized agent zone.
All winnings must be claimed within the specific time, not latter than 21
days and you must contact your Agent in UK, England via the email address
Or Telephone number given below which will enable you claim
your winnings immediately. Your personal winning codes are as below:
Tag-Serial Code: LND 353 60 720 UK
Winning Code: 35-36-57-95-81-09-72-34
Note that we prohibit any deduction from your claims by our agent, if you
notice any deduction from your winnings do report your agent to us
NOTE: CONTACT YOUR AGENT DIRECTLY FILLING THE BELOW INFORMATION
AND ALSO QUOTE YOUR WINNING CODES ON MAIL TO THE AGENT.
1. FULL NAME:
8. PRESENT COUNTRY:
CONTACT AGENT: MR. EDDIE BONES (C. P. Director)
Once again congratulations for your winnings.
Vodafone Program Coordinator.
VODAFONE ONLINE AWARD PROGRAM