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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Melvin Brown \[DR\]" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 02:13:24 -0700
NO 10 PRETORIA STREET OFF NELSON MANDELA AVENUE
Email File No: 22e988
Batch No: 001990433
WINNING NO: 5-13-33-37-42
Dear lucky winner!!
We are delighted to inform you of your prize which was released on the 27th of October 2010, from the LITTLEWOOD Online Promotions/Email Internet Program, which is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses from some sites. Your email address was attached to Batch No: 001990433 and Email File No: 22e988. This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 5-13-33-37-42 and bonus number 17, which consequently won the lottery in the second category. You hereby have been approved a lump sum pay of $1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION US DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: ILP/HW 47509/10 from the total cash prize shared amongst eight lucky winners in this category.
All participants were selected through a computer balloting system drawn from Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our international promotion program which is conducted annually. This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have an operational base.
Furthermore, your details (e-mail address) fall within our South Africa representative regional branch office as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of $1,000,000.00 will be released to you at the regional branch office. We hope that with part of your prize, you will participate in our end of the year high stakes for $1.3 Billion international draw.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE: Simply contact our fiducially agent, MR MARK DAVID to file for your claim....Please quote your Email File, batch number and winning number which can be found on the top left corner of this notification as well as your full name, address and telephone number to help locate your file easily. For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this programmed by non-participants or unofficial personnel.
Note, all winnings MUST be claimed by the 31st of October 2010; otherwise all funds will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually donated to charity organizations.
PLEASE CONTACT AGENT MR. MARK DAVID, so that he will tell you on how you will receive your winning prize.
Name: Mr. Mark David
Direct Tel.Line; +27 83 687 6562
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM.
1. Full Name:..............
5. Tel No........................
6. Date of Birth....................
Any winner below the age of 18years is automatically disqualified!! Congratulations once again on your winning!!!
Melvin Brown [DR]