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:
- "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)
- 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 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 (Hotmail, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Microsoft Award Team <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 12:47:58 -0500
Subject: Winning No:M/card/456/2012
AMOUNT WON: 1,200,000.00 GBP (One Million Two Hundred Thousand Great
This email address has brought you an unexpected luck,Your e-mail
address was selected and confirmed among the 50 winners by our co-sponsor
MicrosoftInternational, through their latest internet software. You are
therefore been approved by MasterCard Int. /Microsoft UK the sum of
1,200,000.00 GBP (One Million Two Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds).
CONTACT CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR.
NAME: George Peterson
MasterCard / Microsoft Promotion Department
Do email the above Claims Administrator, at once with all the claims
requirements below. To avoid unnecessary delay. They are needed to proceed.
1. Full Name:_____________________
4. Age:________Date of Birth:___________
6. Cell Phone:___________Fax:___________
7. State of Origin:_________Country:____
Contact the Claims Administrator with all
your claims requirements well filled.
Mrs.Claudia Goncalves Vianna
MasterCard / Microsoft Mega Jackpot
Copyright 2012 Microsoft Inc