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:
- "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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- +447035967012 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Coca-Cola Award Team" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011 10:14:09 +0100
Subject: Your E-mail Just Won
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
COCA COLA BOTTLING COMPANY
#443 Bury New Road,
Lancashire, M8 5DT
Congratulations Email User,
The International Promotion Department of Coca-Cola Bottling Company in
conjunction with British American Tobacco and Orcon Service Provider
conducted their 2011 Global Upliftment Programme yesterday and this e-mail
address won a prize money of Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great
British Pounds Sterlings (£750,000.00). These program is aimed to
encourage you to continue patronizing our product and also help customers
recover from financial recession around the Globe. The draws was conducted
from a list of 25,000 company e-mail addresses, 30,000,00 individual
e-mail addresses from over 40 networks and corporate bodies picked by an
advanced automated random computer selection from the web hence there was
no ticket sold.
Your Winning package contain a Valuable Documents of,(1).Coca-Cola Rumble
Kits (2) Coca-Cola Winning Certificate (3)Bank Draft Cheque value
750,000.00 GBP(Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand British Pounds Sterling).
kindly contact the Payment Processing manager through the information
provided below for immediate release;
Claims Processing Manager: Mr. Jole Cole
Contact Number: +447035967012
Your Winning code:
on behalf of the entire management and staffs we say Congratulations once
Mrs. Ann T. Taylor,
President, Coca Cola Global Business Service.