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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international lottery programme" (no such lottery exists)
- 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)
- 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: AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY 2011 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 22:02:30 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Attn: Your Email Address Has Been Selected As the Lucky Winner!!
Winning no: GB8701/LPRC
Dear Lucky Winner,We are delighted to inform you of your prize release for the
year 2011 from the Australian International Lottery programme.Which is fully
based on an Electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses Your
name was attached to ticket number;47061725 07056490902 serial number
7741137002 This batch draws
the lucky numbers as follows 5-13-33-37-42 bonus number 17,which consequently
won the lottery in the second category.
You hereby have been approved a lump sum pay of US$500,000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED
THOUSAND DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: ILP/HW 47509/02 from the total cash
prize of US$8,000,000.00 shared amongst eight lucky
winners in this category.
All participant were selected through a computer balloting system drawn form
Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses from Canada, Australia,United
States,Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our
international promotions program which is conducted annually.
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) fall within our African
representative office in Nigeria,West Africa, as indicated in your play coupon
and your prize of US$1,000.000,00 and a brand new HP Pavilion desktop computer
which will be released to you from this regional branch office in Nigeria. We
hope with part of your prize,you will participate in our end of year high
stakes for US$1.3 Billion international draw.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE Simply contact our fiducial agent
NAME : Rev Father Peter Lawson
EMAIL : email@example.com
PHONE : +234 7067383909
To file for your claim . Please quote your reference, batch and winning number
which can be found on the top left corner of this notification as well as your
full name, address and telephone number to help locate
your file easily.
For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information
confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize
released to you.This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming
and unwarranted taking advantage of this programme by non-participant or
FILL OUT OUR ONLINE VERIFICATION FORM
Note, All winnings MUST be claimed before the month runs out , otherwise all
funds will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually donated to charity
Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!
Mrs. Carol Smith(For co-ordinator)
ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE WINNERS
WILL RESULT TO DISQUALIFICATION.
MANAGEMENT, AUSTRALIA LOTTO LOTTERY INC.
LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;MICROSOFT CORPORATION
UK, MICROSOFTCORPORATION AFRICA, MICROSOFT
CORPORATION USA,MICROSOFTCORPORATION ASIA