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:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "US Lottery Commission" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 01:44:36 -0400
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS !!!! YOU HAVE WON
Lottery Commission Center
North 10th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Batch: ALLINC 170935152418/271
Winning Number: CA-WN GB2411/CARC.
Your email emerges in the GOOGLE/MAIL/MICROSOFT/GMAIL/YAHOO/GMX 2012 electronic draw made on September, 2012. Your email have won you the sum of One Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$1,500,000.00), from the US Commission Center. GOOGLE/MAIL/YAHOO/GMX WINDOWS collected all the email
addresses of the people that are active on-line, among the millions that subscribed to the on-line networks, we only select five people every Month as our winners through balloting System.
Now that youve won a prize, heres how to claim it, Congratulations on winning the Lottery! Get the claim process started by contacting our claims officer
immediately, Connie Perez on email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR through the fax number above and file for your claims quoting these references: REF: 0543364237; BATCH:
ALLINC 170935152418/271; winning number: CA-WN GB2411/CARC. Full winning details will be made known to you upon your confirmation of this mail and filing of your
(MICROSOFT/GMAIL/MAIL/YAHOO/GMX Lottery Coordinator)
GOOGLE/MAIL/MICROSOFT/GMAIL/YAHOO/GMX 2012(C) network.