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:
- "national lottery promotion" (no such lottery exists)
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- 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)
- "headquater" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447035907005 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UK NATIONAL LOTTERY" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 12:44:44 +0800
Subject: INFORMATION FROM UK NATIONAL LOTTERY
UK NATIONAL LOTTERY
PROMOTIONS/ PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT.
9 ADLER STREET
LONDON. E1 1EE.
WINNING NOTIFICATION !!!
The board of directors and entire member of staff of the National Lottery
wishes to inform you of the result of the (Email Address Ballot) online
Sweepstakes international program held at the British Headquarter.Your
email account have been picked as a winner of Six Hundred Thousand
Pounds Sterling (£600,000.00) in cash credited to file JFG/5234484/13.
This is from a total sum of Four Million, Two hundred Thousand Pounds
Sterling (£ 4,200,000.00) shared amongst seven winners. This results is
now released to you on 20th August 2011 and your email address attached to
number: 3489 0012 76 with Serial number 83402/14 drew the lucky numbers
05- 30-31-33-35-45 and bonus ball -03-in the Lotto,participants were
selected through a computer ballot system drawn from Microsoft users from
individual email address users.
Your fund has been converted into a bank draft with a hardcover
insurance.Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we advice that you
award from public notice until your claim has been processed and your bank
draft sent directly to your designated delivery address as this is part of
our security protocol to avoid doublclaiming or unwarranted taking
advantage of this program by the general public. Be advice to keep your
information confidential until your claims have been processed. For the
release of your winning, kindly contact your claims supervisory officer at
the British Lottery Head Quarters, Payment Release Order Department.
Contact Agent: Mr.Henderson Blake
Foreign Services Directorate,
Pacifico Sistemas Informáticos GmbH & Co.
You will be required to quote your lucky number,for confirmation on your
winnings. All winning must be claimed not later than 3weeks after reciept
this mail. After this date all unclaimed funds will be returned to
European Union Treasury as unclaimed prize for good cause. Please note in
avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your
reference number in all correspondence.You are therefore advised to give
following informations to the fiduciary via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone .
Congratulations from the entire member of staff and thank you for being
part of our email account users program.
Mrs. Julie Van Hans,
Executive (International Sweepstakes).
Material Copyright © 2008 The Lottery Co. Ltd.