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 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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Yahoo Lottery Promotion 2011 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 16:32:47 +0530 (IST)
YAHOO! INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY ORGANIZATION
Yahoo! International Lottery Organization
Bangkok Branch Office Address:
10/15 Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak,
Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
Yahoo! Mail announces you as one of the 25 lucky winners in the ongoing 12 Years Yahoo lottery Award of the New Year Held in Bangkok Thailand 2011.
All 25 winning email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of (50,000.000.00) International emails each from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our International Promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently, you have been approved for a total pay out of TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY ($2,500.000.000 USD) This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have operational base.
Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within our Bangkok representative office in Bangkok Thailand, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of ($2,500.000.000 USD) will be released to you from this regional branch office in Bangkok Thailand.
Your fund is now deposited with our Bank/Security Company Bangkok Thailand and insured in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed, and your winning Cheque have being sent to you or remitted to your account, as this is part of our security protocol, to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking of advantage of this program by participants, as has happened in the past.
YAHOO LOTTERY is a free service that does not require you to be a Yahoo!
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE
These are your identification numbers.
Fill the form below and submit in order for our coordinator to contact you on how to redeem your prize.
Sir. picit Suntia
Telephone number : +66871987848
You are to send the completed verification form below to enable us process your winning prizes. Congratulations once more!!
1. FULL NAME
2. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
3. PRESENT ADRESS.
4. DATE OF BIRTH
7. TELEPHONE NUMBER
8. FAX NUMBER
9. MARITAL STATUS
10. WINNING NUMBER, BATCH NUMBER AND LOTTO NUMBER.
Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 14 days of receiving this notification. Any claim not made by this date will be returned to HER MAJESTY'S DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Once again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of Yahoo! International Promotions program. We wish you continued good fortunes.
Vice President Yahoo! Lotto Org.