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")
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447010057028 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "NOKIA MOBILE COMPANY UK" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 20:09:23 +0530
Subject: NOKIA AWARD 2012
NOKIA CO-OPERATION UNITED KINGDOM
Nokia House. Summit Avenue South wood
Farnborough Hampshire GU14 0NAG.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
This is to inform you that your E-mail ID has won 1,000,000 GBP, from NOKIA PROMOTION AWARD. Note that there were no sales of tickets as the NOKIA PROMOTION AWARD was held through collations of emails via the internet, your Email ID was attach with a NOKIA E7 Series, Serial NO: E787b3406, Ref No NOKIA E769ZF35 and Serial Ticket No E7K2907803-2
Contact your claims agent department immediately with all details below for the procedure of your claims.
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
3. Marital Status:
8. Tel Number:
9. Serial number:
10. Ref number:
11. Tagged ticket number:
12. E-mail ID:
Contact Your Claims Agent.
MR. JACOB ABBOTT.
Dr. Thomas O. Ken
NOKIA Claims Manager