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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "national lottery promotion" (no such lottery exists)
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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.
- +447031860104 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "YAHOO MSN CLAIMS BOARD UK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:35:48 +0000
UK NATIONAL LOTTERY
PROMOTIONS/ PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT.
9 - 10 GREAT SUTTON STREET
LONDON. EC1V 0NB.
Ref. Number....... YMUKNL/80612575115/02
Batch Number....... 14/0017/1PD
Ticket Number.......... 56475600545 188
Amount Won....... 900,000.00 GBP
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you that your email account was picked as a winner of
a lump sum pay out of Nine Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling (900,000.00 GBP)
in cash and all participants were selected through a computer ballot system
drawn from 75,000 names from Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America,
Middle East and Africa .Your Funds Would Be Released to You any Moment From
Now, But Before Any Further Processing, We Need to Have Your Information
Registered in Our Database, As soon as we receives your winning Information
above, You will be Duly Informed by our Claims Officer In-charge On What to Do
You will be required to quote your Reference Number and Batch Number for
confirmation on your winnings. All winnings must be claimed not later than
three weeks after receipt of this Email. Be advice to keep your winning
information confidential until your claims have been processed.
WINNING PROCESSING FORM.
1. Your Full Name:
2. Residential Address:
3. Mobile Number:
4. Direct Telephone Number:
6. City of Residence:
8. Your Complete Address with Zip Code (not P.O.BOX) :
9. Working Identity Card/Int'l Passport:
Mr. Oliver Derio
Foreign Services Directorate,
Pacific Systematic Informations GmbH & Co.
Tel: +44 - 703 186 0104
Fax: +44 - 703 186 0104
Congratulations Once More From All Our Members Of Staff.
Mrs. Stacy Sullivan Martinez,
Executive Online Co-ordinator International Sweepstakes / Yahoo Msn British
Lottery Gaming Commission (B.L.G.C).