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.
- +447031742714 (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: UK NATIONAL LOTTERY PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 09:32:52 -0300
UK NATIONAL LOTTERY
PROMOTIONS/ PRIZE AWARD
9 - 10 GREAT SUTTON STREET
LONDON. EC1V 0NB.
Batch Number....... 14/0017/1PD
Ticket Number.......... 56475600545
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
Dr. Oliver Derio
Foreign Services Directorate,
Pacifico Sistemas Informáticos GmbH
Tel: +44 - 703 174 2714
Fax: +44 - 703 186 0104
Congratulations Once More From All
Our Members Of Staff.
Mrs. Stacy Sullivan Martinez,
Executive Online Co-ordinator
International Sweepstakes / British
Lottery Gaming Commission (B.L.G.C).
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.