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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447031978040 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Jackpotjoy Support <Winners@Jackpotjoy.co.uk.tc>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2013 00:00:33 +0100
Subject: Congratulation You Won The Jackpot!
Dear Sweepstakes Winner,
Your email has emerged our Jackpotjoy Winner of Nine Million British Pounds Sterling (£9,000,000 GBP) in the third quarter of Jackpotjoy Sweepstakes email cash offer season Six (6). Please provide the following information for processing of payment or call our customer support help lines for more information.
*Full Name: _________________ *Contact Address: __________________*Direct Telephone Numbers: _________________
*Fax: _______________ *Sex: _____________
For Customer Support Help Lines
TEL: +44 7031 978 040
TEL: +44 7031 978 042
TEL: +44 7031 978 043
TEL: +44 7031 978 244
TEL: +44 7012 985 479
TEL: +44 7011 146 895
Ms. Alison Mee.
Customer Support Team