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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447031875551 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "02 TELECOMMUNICATION LOTTERY"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:28:34 -0500
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS WON
Dear Sir / Madam
Your email address was attached to ticket number: 47001725 07056490102 and serial number 7741134002.This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 5-13-33-37-42 and bonus number 17. This e-mail is to congratulate you as your email address has won you a cash prize of 715,000.00 Great British Pound in our Online Lottery Sweepstakes Promotion held in London October 2011. To file your claims.
contact Agent: Steve Austine
Telephone: +44 7031875551
Note: You are required to tender your Full Name(s) & Reference # (same as above) Full Address, Country Of Residence, Occupation, Age, Sex, Telephone Number to the claims agent, via email for a valid response.
Thank you for being a part of this online lottery promotion. Note this promo was open to you maybe you use one of the following:- Credit card, Online Ad post and Shop online.