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.
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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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- 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.
- +447045718670 (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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 23:41:03 +0530
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE!!!
ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION (Europe)
Estate Yard,Queen Street,
Buckinghamshire HP18 0JW
Registered company No:3948898
Registered charity No:1083262
Foundation Rothschild as established in 1975 by the Multi-Million groups was conceived with the objective of Human Growth, Educational and Community development.The Rothschild Foundation in conjunction with the,UNO,Ecowas and the EUROPEAN UNION,These funds are freely given to you to use for your business educational and personal development.
You were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of $700,000,00 USD (Seven hundred thousand United States Dollars) as charity donations/aid from the European Foundation,Ecowas and the UNO in accordance with the enabling act of Parliament.
You are required to expeditiously contact the Executive Secretary with your Qualification numbers(P-333-7858, B-011-67). For more informations or details on how to claim your donation, please Contact Dr.Andy Moore.with the following contact details.
CLAIM PROCESSING FORM
1. Full Name:
4. Date of Birth:
DUE PROCESS UNIT:
Executive Secretary:Dr.Andy Moore
On behalf of the Board kindly accept our warmest congratulations.