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:
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "SKYE BANK PLC" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 13:27:32 +0100
Subject: CONGRATS YOU HAVE WON-READ EMAIL FOR DETAILS
SKYE BANK PLC
3,AKIN ADESOLA STREET,
VICTORIA ISLAND LAGOS,
The management of Skye Bank Nigeria Plc wishes to congratulate and inform you that your email address has won $1.5M USD.Your email address was among the winning email in the just concluded Microsoft email ballot lottery in West Africa.The selection process was done through a Computerized selection system from a database of over 2,750,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the globe.No ticket was sold or bought,but each individual play coupon representing an email ID was used.This promo is basically aimed at encouraging/promoting the use of internet for education,health,medical and scientific research within your community and across the globe.Hence,you are to contribute a reasonable part of your cash award/Donation to the betterment of humanity.
However after review and certification of your payment file by the IMF and the CBN,Skye Bank Nigeria Plc has been assigned to make payment to you.Furthermore after a meeting with your government official,we came to a conclusion that we have to immediately pay the sum of $1.5m USD to you as your winning via ATM Visa Card.Should you adhere to our directives,your payment will be made within 24 hours.
You are required to reconfirm your information for verification and immediate payment.
3 Direct telephone number.
We shall proceed with your payment as soon as the above information are received.
Director ATM Swift Card/Foreign Operation Dept
Skye Bank Nigeria Plc.
( Copyright © 2013 Skye Bank Nigeria PLC.)