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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
- 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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 03:24:48 -0300
Subject: Coca Cola Email Award 2010.Reply To: email@example.com
Computer Ballot Sweeptakes Email Award 2010.
(South Africa Coca-Cola National Lottery Award 2010).
Osborn Rd, Germiston 1428,
Johannesburg Branch,South Africa
YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS WON THIS YEAR SOUTH AFRICA NATIONAL COCA-COLA LOTTERY.
We wish to congratulate you over your email success in our computer balloting held on 12th October 2010.
This is a Millennium Scientific Computer Game in which email addresse were used. It is a promotional program
aimed at encouraging Coca Cola users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it. You have been
approve for the star prize of $257,248,00 (Two Hundred And Fifty Seven Thousand,Two Hundred And fourty Eight
United States Dollars Only).To claim your winning prize you are to contact our Promotions claim promotions offiver as soon
as possible for the immediate release of your winnings with the following informations below:
Date Of Birth:..............................
Contact Telephone Number:............................
Country Of Residence:..........................
Mr Hendrick Thaba .
Contact Tel No:+27-78-538-4213
Contact Fax No:+27-86-218-3683
Batch No: WNTO/7416/VA/SA
Lucky No: 07-13-31.54-640
Serial No: MUOTI/82536
The Validity period of the winnings is for 20 working days hence you are expected to make your claims immediately,
any claim not made before this date will be returned to the SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
Note:You are advised to keep this winning very confidential until you receive your lump prize in your account or
optional cheque issuance to you,This is a protective measure put in place to avoid people applying for your winnig fund,
as we have had cases like this before.
Mrs.Natasha Du plesis