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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Intelligent Report <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2011 02:55:50 -0700 (PDT)
Having recently completed a special program of the lot, your e-mail address was among the specially selected, so the file category LOTTO HOTPICKS, with a particular number of wins 17,18,21,33,36,45 you should get the money amount of $ 600,000.00 (six hundred thousand dollars only .)
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web through a computer system and extracted from the Draw more than 50,000 unions, associations and entities listed on the Internet.
Proceed to the processing of your winnings, you must send a copy of this notice on the handling of our director using the contact information below;
MR. Nwadi Vincent, Treatment Director Special Program of the Department, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations once more from me, and all members of the National Lottery Headquarters (TNL), and we hope that you participate in any of our international programs in the near future. Thank you.
Sincerely, Miss Barbara McPherson