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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- +447045726869 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNESCO" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:38:20 -0800
Subject: You Have Been Awarded.
United Nations Joint Programme.
Division for the Promotion of basic Education
Sector UNESCO 7, place de Fontenoy,
F-75352 Paris 07 SP,France.
Fax: +33 1 45 68 56 26/27
Qualification numbers (154/4456/011).
It is obvious that this notification will come to you as a surprise,
Please find time to read it carefully as we congratulate you following our
official publication of results
of an exclusive list of 47,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual
and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer ballot
search from the internet
as part of our international information technology enhancement programme.
No tickets were sold and Applications were also made by national
governments or international
non-governmental organizations,maintaining formal consultative relations
with UNESCO in your country.
This was held on Thursday 24th of March 2011 here in Paris France.
A Draft of 500,000,00(Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds) will be
issued in your name. For Validation Purpose ,
Please Forward The Following Information as Listed Below to our Information
and Payment bureau Officer in United Kingdom.
SEND DETAILS FOR VALIDATION TO:.
Dr Mariana Patru on: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Tel: +447 045726 869
Isabelle Le Fournis,
(Press Relations Section UNESCO)