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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "daisy" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 18:11:39 +0700
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS !!! YOU HAVE WON TWO MILLION US DOLLARS FROM NEW HOTMAIL BETA PROMO
Hello and Welcome to Windows Live HotmailÂ®
Congratulations! You have just been selected as of this year winners of the
Windows Live Hotmail and YAHOO email promo.
This is to officially inform you that you have won $2,000,000.00 (Two Million
United States Dollars).
MICROSOFT WINDOWS, arrange and gather all the e-mail addresses of the people
that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to All email
Address, and others we only select Nine(9) candidates per annually as our
winners through Electronic Balloting System (EBS) without the candidate
applying, we congratulate you for being one of the people selected.
The next generation of MSN and YAHOOÂ® Hotmail is in your hands - fast, simple,
and safer than ever before.
â¢ Bookmark this link to login to your Windows Live Hotmail
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PAYMENT OF PRIZE CLAIM
We are sorry that your Payment Approval File was sent to Africa (Republic of
Ghana) due to we have 3 lucky winners in Africa so that you can be cleared and
paid simultaneously there. You are to contact our Location Claim Agent on or
before your date of Claim.
Windows live Hotmail and Yahoo prize must be claimed not later than 14 days
from date of Draw Notification after the Draw date in which Prize has won.
Â» Get the Details
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Note: Any prize not claimed within this period (14 days) will be forfeited.
These are your identification numbers:
These numbers above fall within the agent's Location file, you are
requested to contact your Agent and send your Identification Numbers and
Personal Information to him;
BARRISTER DUNCAN WILLIAMS at his email:
You are therefore advised to send the following information to him to
facilitate them and process the transfer of your fund with the appointed
Send your Identification Numbers/Your Personal Information to him immediately:
1. Full name..................
3. Contact Address...........
4. Telephone Number.........
5. Marital Status..............
Congratulations once again.
Yours in service,
You select how to transfer the prize money to you:
Cheque Delivery To Your Addressa
Bank Account Transfer
By Cash (Winners will be require to come down here by theirselves to remitt
their winning fund.)
Windows Live Hotmail. Fast, simple and safer than ever.
Live is good.
The Windows Live Hotmail Team
You are receiving this message from Windows Live because you are a valued
member. Microsoft respects your privacy. To learn more, please read our online
For more information or for general questions regarding your e-mail account,
please visit Windows Live Hotmail Help.
Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, GA 98052-6399, Ghana Â© 2012
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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