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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
- +448719741112 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kevin J. Aronin" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 08:09:58 -0800
Subject: Once again congratulations.
The United Kingdom National Lottery
in Conjunction with: Organizing Committee[TM] for the 2012 London Olympics
Present the Internet lottery Promotion for the London Olympics 2012
Dear: lucky Winner E-mail user,
We are pleased to announce to you that your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number: 018795727498 with serial number: F3-003-036, which draw the lucky winning number: 13-15-16-21-34-36-(8)that subsequently won you the total sum of (550,000.00 GBP)Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds. The draws registered as Draw number one was conducted in (LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM) These Draws are commemorative as such special that you do not need to buy any ticket to enter the draws. All participants for this online draws were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through Microsoft draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations and co-operate bodies that are listed and active online.
Note: that this program is being sponsored by United Kingdom National Lottery and in conjunction with the Organizing Committee for the LONDON OLYMPICS 2012, to encourage the Internet users and to create awareness for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, which is to hosted by England.
Your cash prize is now deposited with our Correspondent Paying Bank, insured on your behalf, for security Protocol. You are advised to keep your winning details very confidential from the member of the public. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program, Please be warned.
You are to forward your winning details to Dr. Charles Lewis to enable him clear your file for immediate payment.
Address: Summit Avenue Southwood Farnborough Hampshire GU14 0NAG. United Kingdom
Promotion Manager Name: Dr. Charles Lewis
Tel: +44 871 974 1112
Provide him with these following details:
- Name in full:______________________
- Permanent Address:_________________
- Postal Code:_______________________
- Fax [optional]_____________________
- Winning E-Mail ID:_________________
- Batch No: 788/533/NMO
- Refrence No: 156/QNN/NMO
- Lucky Winning No: 13-15-16-21-34-36-(8)
Once again congratulations.
Kevin J. Aronin