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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- 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: "NOKIA COMPANY HEAD OFFICE LONDON" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:51:08 -0800
Subject: NOKIA WARD WINNER!!!
NOKIA Promotion Head Office
178 Road Solihull B92 7AH
OFFICIAL PRIZE NOTIFICATION
Reference Number: BT:12052005/21
Batch Number: 12/25/0034
Congratulations, we the staffs of NOKIA congratulate you as one of the lucky winners of our promotion . Your email address has been selected and has won for you the sum of £1,000,000.00 (One million Pound Sterlings). In line with the commemorating event marking our 42nd anniversary and we rolled out £50,000.000.00 (Fifty Million Great Britain Pounds) for the draw.
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online as part of the International Promotions Program, which held up in Britain, London on 1st of January, 2011.
Your email address was selected as one of the 16 lucky winning address in the 2nd category draw of our promotion, you have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £1,000,000.00 (One million Pound Sterlings). To file and claim your winnings, contact your paying Bank, Abbey National Bank of London United Kingdom:
Country Of Residence:.......
Winning Batch Number:..........
Contact Bank: Abbey National Bank of London United Kingdom
For further clarification/verification of your claims, Please call Abbey National Bank of London United Kingdom or Contact him via E-mail immediately with email@example.com.
CONGRATULATIONS FROM NOKIA UK PROMOTION