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.
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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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "UK Games Board." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 12:40:25 +0100
Subject: Olympic Games Lottery Payout.
UK Games Board.
2012 Olympic Games Lottery Payout.
This email is from The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games (LOCOG). In an effort to give back to the society that has given so much already, the LOCOG has started an online email draw in conjunction with Microsoft.
The online email draw is held using thousands of active emails from a region, and four emails finally emerges as the winning emails of two million pounds sterling (£2,000.000 gbp) each.
We are pleased to inform you that your email is one of the four emails that emerged as the winning emails of the first draw.
To claim your LOCOG lottery payout of two million gbp, please respond with your complete details as requested below.
1. Full Names:....
2. Current Address:......
3. Home Phone:........
4. Mobile Phone:.......
Treat as urgent and please note that your won amount will be made available to you immediately we receive and verify your details.
UK Games Board.