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 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Andrews, Wanda" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:27:25 -0400
Subject: Winning Details
Attention To The Owner Of This Email Address
We are happy to inform you that your e-mail have won an Award Sum of $950.580.00 US
Dollas in Dutch Zerman Lotto held in Rotterdam In Netherlands. Winners were picked
by computerized system, drawn from electronic online world wide web. This draws were
officially announced 18th of February,2011. This compensation program was promoted
and sponsored by Dutch Zerman Lotto in Netherlands. No ticket was sold in this prize
award but winners were randomly selected from the electronic online world wide web
in all over the world. You can rich our Foreign Financial Office with your winning
information's by phone. Batch Num:DC62/F415/11BV, Ref Num:NT/22/DX906/83GL, Ticket
Contact: Dr. Steijn De Bernhard,
Mrs. Marrith Driker.(Dept Sec.)