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:
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024062874 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: United Nations =?iso-8859-1?Q?Organisation=AE?= <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 04:12:46 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Attn Beneficiary
United Nations House,
Barley House,Har Road,
Greater London SM1 4te.
Final Draw: UNESCO 154/4456/011XN.
Ref No: UK/9420X2/68
Batch No: 074/05/ZY369
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws of the United Nations Organization Trust Funds. Your e-mail
was selected from an automatic email balloting system which consequently
emerged you as five of the lucky winners for a lump sum payout of Six
Hundred And Fifty Thousand Five hundred Great British Pound
Sterlings(£650,500.00) held in London UK.During this promotion no
ticket were sold out to candidiates.
Fill Details Below To Redeem Your Prize.
1. Full Names:
3. Sex and Age:
Payment Officer Information.
Agent: Mr.MAXWELL MOORE
Announcer (UN Development Funds Board).