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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR MARK ZUCKERBERG" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2012 13:51:26 +0100
Subject: FACEBOOK ONLINE LOTTERY PROGRAMMED 2012
FACEBOOK ONLINE LOTTERY PROGRAMMED 2012
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
BATCH NUMBER: 2551236002/244
SERIAL NUMBER. 55643451907
TICKET NUMBER: 5647600545189
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded
annual Final draws held on the(7nd JANUARY 2012) by Face book group in cash
Promotion to encourage the usage of Face book world
state dollars) each on the Face book group promotion Award Attached to ticket
number (5647600545189) and Ref No (2551256002/244) Serial Number (55643451907).
The online draws was Conducted by a random selection of email you where
picked by an Advanced automated random computer search from the Face book in
other To claim your $500,000.00USD the lottery program which is a new
innovation by Face book, is aimed at saying A BIG THANK YOU to all our users
for making Face book their number one means to connect, communicate,relate and
hook up with their families and friends over the years.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and
unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants and Scam artists All
participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over
20,000 companies' and 30,000,000 individuals' email addresses and names from
all over the world. This promotional program takes place every three years.You
have to be Rest assured that this is Real and Legal..and there are Some Scam
artists around...Thanks to the FBI...216 of them have been arrested... The
software corporation to encourage some few individuals with web site and email
addresses promoted this lottery.
Your name was selected in a raffle that was made 7nd January 2012 so we need
your fast response so that we can proceed with the delivery of your fund .You
are required to contact our payment dept via e-mail:
With information below in order for us to complete your winning certificate
and for further information regarding the disbursement of your lottery win.
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:
MARITAL STATUS AND AGE :
NATIONALITY / COUNTRY:
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:
Remember all winnings must be claimed not later than 3Oth of December, 2011. After this
date, all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. To avoid
unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference
and batch numbers in all correspondences. Furthermore, if there is any change
in email address please contact us on time
To enable him issue you certificate of winning Accept my hearty
congratulations once again
CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN FROM FACE BOOK!!!!
APPROVED AND SIGNED
BY MR MARK ZUCKERBERG CEO FACEBOOK TEAM