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:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- +447010050612 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "FREELOTTO AFFILIATED OFFICE U.K" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 03:58:24 -0700
Subject: Your E-mail Address Has won FREELOTTO Jackpot.....Congratulations !!
FROM: GOVERNMENT ACCREDITED LICENSED
FREELOTTO AFFILIATED OFFICE U.K,
82 VICTORIA STREET VICTORIA LONDON SW1 U.K
NOTIFICATION OF WINNING
Your e-mail has won you 2,000,000.00usd from the FREE LOTTERY on our 2012
charity bonanza. The draw no. TFR/9900034943/JPT brought out your e-mail address from
a Data Base of Internet Email Users and qualified you a bonafied winner of
the stated winning amount.
You are to contact us via e-mail (email@example.com) providing the below
stated information for the processing of your claims.
1. Full Names:
4. Mobile No:
For confirmation of your winning numbers, please ensure your check your
winning details on our site http://www.freelotto.com/ThisWeeksWinners.asp.
The freelotto internet draw is held every month and is so organized to encourage the use
of the internet and computer worldwide. We are proud to say
that over 400 millions U.S Dollars are won annually in more than 118 countries Worldwide.
Warning!!!: Fraudulent emails are circulating that appear to be using Free Lotto
addresses, but are not from The Free Lotto. PLEASE REPORT IMMEDIATELY
Once again congratulations.
Kevin J. Aronin
Chairman & CEO Copyright © 1995-2012 The FREELOTTO National Lottery Inc. All rights
reserved. Terms of Service - Guideline
N: You are advised to keep your winning strictly confidential until your winning is
processed and received by you. This is to avoid double
claiming which could lead to disqualification.