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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- +447031744574 (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: "Miss. Helen Jack" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 1980 08:08:06 +0200
Subject: VERIFICATION FORM IT IS VALID FOR EIGHT WEEKS!!!
My name is Mrs Helen Jack and on the behalf of the UK online Sweepstakes International
program held this month of March 2011. We wish to inform you that you are one of our lucky
winners which were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international emails.
Your email address emerged along side 9 others as 1st category winner in this
year's Annual Lottery Draw.
Consequently, you have therefore been approved for a total pay out of £850,000.00
(Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds Only).The following particulars
are attached to your lottery payment order:
(i) Winning numbers: 8-13-34-55-84-85.BONUS 22.
(ii) Email ticket number: WN:754/22/76
(iii) Lottery code number: WN:09622uk
Please contact the under listed claims officer as soon as possible for the immediate
release of your winnings:
Mrs Belinda Morris
12 Bridge Street,
Staines Middlesex TW18 4TP
This email notification is auto-generated and it is valid for Eight weeks.
Once again on behalf of all ourstaff, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Yours in service,
Mrs Helen Jack
1,FULL NAME : ...............
2, FULL ADDRESS: .............
3, NATIONALITY: ...............
5, AGE: .......................
6, PHONE/MOBILE: ..............
10, AMOUNT WON:................
UK LOTTERY PROMOTION FORM