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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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: "Coca Cola Draw 2012"<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 12:59:52 -0700
Subject: ==========Coca Cola Alert===========
COCA COLA PROMO DEPARTMENT
Coca-Cola Great Britain
1 Queen Caroline Street
This is to notify you that your e-mail has been selected as a winner of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds (500,000.00 GBP) in the ongoing COCA-COLA 2012 e-mail hot pick Lottery promotion. Your email ID. was randomly selected by our ballot computer system from a Data Base of Internet Email Users from Asia, America Europe and Africa and your email address came out as one of the winning email addresses from your region/territory which automatically makes you the winner of the stated amount.
You are advised to contact the payment officer (Dr. Olu Richard) immediately with the below mentioned requirements for payment/remitting of your won prize to you.
Fiduciary Dept :
Dr. Olu Richard.
6. Cell phone Number:
8. Country of Residence:
Congratulation once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Dr. Rita James.