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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Skype Promotion" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 21:38:28 +0100
Subject: Skype Promotion SP/5482
Tel:+1 347 606 1797
Fax:+1 630 733 6825
In this our newly introduced programme, no purchase is necessary. To skype users promotion online,you must have a valid email address/skype ID. Selections are done automatically through our machine to select through extraction, the first twelve million email addresses and the selection of fifteen randomly. The twelve million will be entered to the Present Draw. Email addresses that Match all 5 (five) Numbers in Correct Order.
This promotion SKYPE USERS PROMOTION have directed the amount of One Million eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United State of America Dollars $1,850,000.00 directed in cash credited to file SKYPE/9066336466/11 as 2011 payment, at the owner of this address/skype ID.This is from a total cash prize of $200,980,000.00 (US$ Two Hundred Million and Nine Hundred and Eigthy Thousand US dollars) shared amongst the first fifteen (15) lucky winners in this category all over the globe.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Website through Computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 SKYPE USERS/SKYPE ID. We choose to send it to an email address instead of a name. We are unable to complete a transfer directed at this email address, so we require some more information in order to complete this transfer.
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:
MARITAL STATUS AND AGE:
In order to resolve this issue, please email via SKYPE ACCREDITED PAYMENT OFFICE:WORLD &UNIVERSE WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL SERVICES
Name: Adira Endrea
Tel:+ 44 7752947633
Fax:+ 44 7043094300
As soon as this information is received, payment will be made to your nominated bank account or through a bank draft.
When emailing, please use reference number SP/5482 for our mutual convenience. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
Congratulations! Once more from all members and staff of this program that has ensured that this competition was successfully conducted.
THE MANAGEMENT OF SKYPE PROMOTION/WORLD & UNIVERSE.