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:
- "greater london" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a 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!
- 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.
- +447035967783 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: JERRY KENN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 16:39:18 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: X2012 LONDON OLYMPIC INTERNET LOTTERY PROMOTION
LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 INTERNET LOTTERY PROMOTION
The United Kingdom National Lottery
in Conjunction with: Organizing Committee© for the 2012 London Olympics
Present the "Internet lottery Promotion for the London Olympics 2012".
Stratford London, Greater London
Dear: Lucky Winner (Email user),
we are happy to announce to you that Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 008795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/2012, and drew the lucky numbers 13-15-16-21-34-36-(8) which subsequently won you the total sum of £750,000) SEVEN HUNDRED & FIFTY THOUSAND BRITISH POUNDS. The draws registered as Draw number one was conducted in (LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM) These Draws are commemorative as such special that you do not need to buy any ticket to enter the draws.
This program is being sponsored by UNITED KINGDOM NATIONAL LOTTERY in conjunction with the Organizing Committee for the LONDON OLYMPICS 2012, to create awareness for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, which will be hosted in England. Winners are entitled to free tickets to attend their favorite Olympic games with their family.
Your Fund is now deposited with our Correspondent Paying Bank insured in your name, for security Protocol. You are advised to keep your winning details very confidential from the members of the public to avoid double Claiming. Please contact us with the details below to claim your prize.
YOUR FULL NAME: _______________________________________
PERMANENT ADDRESS: __________________________________
WINNING E-MAIL ID: ________________________________________
AMOUNT WON: __________________________________________
BATCH NO: 788/688/ESP
REFERENCE NO: 456/SSS/ESP
LUCKY WINNING NO: 13-15-16-21-34-36-(8)
CONTACT THE AGENT OF OUR CLAIMS DEPARTMENT:
Mr. JERRY KENN
London Olympics Organizing Committee©