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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: Becker <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 05:32:45 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Attn: Nathan Lector (Claims Form Attached)
Hello Nathan Lector,
We wish to congratulate you and formally inform you that your email address earned you the sum of $2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) via an internet based promotional lottery.
We are located in The Netherlands and the said sum is now deposited in our suspense account in your favor waiting for the immediate remittance to you.
Be informed that your winning prize has a hardcover insurance policy that makes it impossible to make any deduction of any kind, until the sum is finally credited into your designated account.
We will issue an Irrevocable Guarantee of Payment Bond (IGPB) in your favor, thereby securing the above prize money. A copy of the IGPB will be forwarded to our paying bank for immediate action. However, the European Gaming Board has been notified of this development and the status of your claim.
Following the above, you are expected to print the attached claim form, fill in and sign carefully, and return it via email attachment or fax along with a copy of your international passport or driver's license for the vetting process, which is a standard practice just to ascertain the rightful owner of the winning email address.
This process is vital and urgent following the instruction from our clients that all prize money should be claimed on or before the DEADLINE on your notice. You are to keep all your winning information confidential,especially your reference and batch numbers. This is important as a case of double claims will not be entertained.
Once again accept our congratulations and if you require any further assistance in filling your claims form, do not hesitate to call my office.
Tel: +31 61 979 8868
Fax: +31 84 723 7991
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim is processed and your money remitted to you through our payment bank here in Netherlands. This is part of our precautionary measures to avoid double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please beware!!!