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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim 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.
- +447031897993 (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: "British National Pacific Lottery Corporation" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 00:44:43 +0100
Subject: Dear Lucky Winner
British National Pacific Lottery Corporation
2nd Floor Chiltern House,
St Nicholas CourtNottingham NG1 7AR,
Dear Lucky Winner,
We happily announce to you the result of the British Pacific Lottery draws held on December 18th 2011, Lotto 6/49 in Essex, United Kingdom. All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws system and extracted from over 10, 000.00 companies and personal e-mail addresses. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: B9524 7560 with serial number 046530 drew the winning numbers 1 7 14 4 17 27 Bonus 40. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of GBP £ 1, 000, 000.00 (ONE MILLION GREAT BRITISH POUNDS STERLING) in cash credited to file EAAL/9090118308/08. To file for your claim, please contact our corresponding claim agent immediately you read this message for quick and urgent release of your fund. Contact information is as follow:
Mr. Robert Doran
Tel: +44 703 1897993
Here are the informations needed for you to fill out:
9.Country Of Residence...
Due to possible mix up of some numbers and email contacts, we ask that you keep this award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by some participants of this program.
Congratulations once more from all members and staff of this promotional lottery program.
Mr. John Patrick