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:
- ",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)
- "you are advice to " (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 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: "COCA-COLA UK ONLINE PROMOTION" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 00:07:15 -0000
Subject: COCA-COLA ONLINE PROMOTION 2012
Coca Cola Foundation
Head Office United Kingdom
Batch Number: 443821545-NL/2011
Ticket Number: PP 3812 /2011-07
Winning Amount : 14,000,000.00.GBP
YOUR REF : EUR-57736825689 177
Attn: Dear Internet User
We are pleased to notify you the "Winner" of our last Secured Mega Jackpot Online Sweepstakes result. This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and all email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly selected from an internet resource database of registered software and domain users.
Your email was selected from a random web mail database and your email address has won the prize tfourteen million great british pounds and a brand new i-pad from E-lottery World Wide International. Your email was found from World Network Base in connection with the United States Information Network Online (U.S.I.N.O) which is affiliated with the internet. And you were selected as the winner of the 2011 COCA-COLA ONLINE LOTTERY FREE DRAW.
Your parcel containing your WINNING DRAFT and your i-pad, please contact us immediately and provide us your full details below for validation of your payment scheme to send your Winning Drafted Funds and laptop to your address after your delivery is been approved in your country:
*Reference Number: EUR-15/AB7026451-ES
*E-ticket number: EUR/POT/2011-04
*Batch Number: 443821545-NL/2011
*Ticket Number: PP 3812 /2011-07
Your Full Name:
Your Mailing Address:
Your Telephone Number:
Further more for your claims of 14,000,000.00 and Brand New i-pad, you are advice to send your full information to us immediately Email:firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance to receive your winning money and i-pad.
Agent Sarah Sanders
Coca-cola remittance Depratment..