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:
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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 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.
- +448719150042 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Apple iPhone Award" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:45:44 +0530
Subject: Apple iPhone Anniversary Update..
Apple Corporate Office
We are glad to inform you that your email address has won you an Award in the Ongoing Apple iPhone Anniversary Awards as organized by the Apple Inc, held on 20th October, 2012 in London, United Kingdom.
The Anniversary Center of Apple Inc randomly selected 10 email addresses through a computer ballot system to receive an award of Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds (500,000.00 GBP) each as a part of their for-profit philanthropic wing promotion. Awards MUST be claimed by the email owner ONLY, not later than 21 days from the day of notification. Award Reference code: Apple09/294/M-3 File number: G12/1. Lucky winners should bear it in mind that this awards come along with a gift of a new Apple iphone5.
For claims, kindly send your complete personal information with your Award Ref and File No to us to enable us process your claim. Send your full details to our email id ; email@example.com
1. Full Name:
2. Contact Address:
4. Telephone No:
5. Marital Status:
Congratulation once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Dr Desmond Dollars.
Please do not reply if you are NOT the owner of this email address.