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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "processing fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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!
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- 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: "U.s green card" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:14:00 +0700
Subject: Congratulations You Have Won U.S Green Card Visa Lottery
Congratulations You Have Won U.S Green Card Visa Lottery
US Department of State BannerIVC
*United States Department of State, *
*National- visa- center
32 Rochester Av,*
*Portsmouth****, **NH** 0358801-2 **USA**
*Case- Number: **FRC 55865663318
Preferences- Categories:- (DV DIVERSITY)
Foreign- State -Chargeability*
*We wish to inform you that you are among the lucky selected winners of
the U.S. Green Card Email ballot lottery program of the 2010/11 edition . *
This e-mail ballot visa lottery program was innovated on March by
USAFIS, This is the 2nd edition of the program and its designed to be
held every year, the aims and objectives of the program is to give free
visa's to citizens of developing countries around the world who wishes
to travel to U.S and start a new life and work.
In this innovated program, no registrations were being made or required
as the program was being conducted through computer draw system of
e-mail random extractions from world wide registered websites.
In this 2nd edition of the program, two hundred and twenty five (225)
U.S visa's were released and 6.3 million e-mail addresses were extracted
from world wide registered websites during the 33-days extraction period
that ran for final selection, all extracted email addresses were
assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy for
final- selection through computer- draw- system.
Your e-mail address attached to ticket number (564002-188) drew the
lucky number's which subsequently won you the U.S visa and we are
sending the winning notification directly through the selected winning
e-mail address which means that if you receive the winning notification
in your mail box that you have been selected among the lucky winner's.
Approximately One hundred and fifty five (155) lucky selected winner's
had been notified through their selected e-mail addresses including you
Your visa winning identification Case number is ( *FRC 55865663318*)
Note that your visa winning identification Case number is your PIN CODE
to claiming your visa.
Any selected lucky winner from the some countries will be disqualified,
this is because each has more than 50,000 candidates in the U.S:
How can I make the claim of my visa?
You will obtain your visa through the U.S Consular officer in your home
country or country of your present residence and note that the U.S
Consular officer in your home country or country of your present
residence will not attend to you without your processed documents of
which to access your visa- winnings through their network database.
Our visa processing agents had been apportioned among six geographic
regions, all selected lucky winner's will need to act on their claims
applications quickly before the visa claim expiration deadline**(^30 ^th
FOR YOUR- VISA- FORM AND REQUIREMENTS,CONTACT OUR ASIA/PACIFIC/MIDDLE
EAST AGENT VIA THIS CONTACT DETAILS,
**NAME: MRS DONNA WH**I**TE *
*Tel : +66-8-679-213-07*
**N.B: Processing Fee.
How can I pay the processing fee?
The following forms of payment are accepted:
western Union Money transfer.
All the selected -lucky -winner's will get free air tickets to the
U.S. Your air ticket will be send to you by- our Asia /pacific /middle
east agent together with your processed documents.
Please read and follow all the enclosed instructions very carefully.*
*Do not reply back to this notification e- mail (busy)*
*For further inquiries;
Contact our Asia /pacific/middle east agent where your visa winning
**Mr. Tony Brooke **
Secretary General US Consulate Kentucky .*