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.
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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:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447024053864 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rt Hon David Cameron MP" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 19:16:24 +0100
Subject: IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE,
10 DOWNING STREET, LONDON,
Our ref: ATM MasterCard/5396/BG
IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
I am The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service British Government. This letter is to officially inform you that (MasterCard Number 5396 5501 7118 0883) has been accredited with your favour. Your Personal Identification Number is 1090. The MasterCard Value is £2,000,000.00 GBP (Two Million, Great British Pounds Sterling).
This office will send to you an MasterCard that you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or MasterCard outlet in the world with a maximum of £5000 GBP daily. Further more, You will be required to re-confirm the following information to enable; The Rt Hon William Hague MP First Secretary of State for British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). begin in processing of your MasterCard.
(1)Full names: (2)Address: (3)Country: (4)Nationality: (5)Phone #: (6)Age: (7)Occupation: (8) Post Codes
Rt Hon William Hague MP.Secretary of British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Tel: +44 7024053864
TAKE NOTICE: That you are warned to stop further communications with any other person(s) or office(s) different from the staff of the State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to avoid hitches in receiving your payment.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP
British Prime Minister