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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "UK National Lottery Incorporated." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:13:54 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: Congratulations winner:
UK Lottery Incorporation®.
176 Buckingham Palace Road,
London SW1W 9TQ,
26th April 2012
Dear e-mail Owner,
Award Reference code#: UK47L/2508/56D/01
This email is to inform you that, you have won
£850,000.00 GBP from UK NationalLottery powerball draws
and the UK National Lottery ancillary services promo
draws held on friday, 25th of April, 2012 in London,
United Kingdom. To file for claim,
do contact our claims agent via e-mail as given below;
Agent: Dr. John Haris.
Please provide the below information for us to facilitate
COMPLETE YOUR CLAIMS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM
1. Full Names: ___________ 2. Marital Status: __________
3. Sex: _____________ 4.Age: ___________
5. Occupation: _________ 6. Full Address: __________
7. Nationality: ______________ 8. Country of Residence:
9. Tel Number: _________ 10. Mobile: ____________
11. Winning Email:__________ 12. Verification
Dr. John Haris