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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",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)
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "w.m.nokia.compo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 21:21:46 +0200
OVERSEAS STAKES SOUTH AFRICA.
OFFICE: 8-10 NELSON MANDELA AVE, BRYSTON, JOHANNESBURG
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA.
Contact Agent Williams Jacob
REF NUMBER; OSL/653/029/03
BATCH NUMBER; AT-040-SB06-03
We are pleased to inform you, that as a result of our recent lottery draws
held on 8th November 2013.Your email address attached to ticket number
27522465896-532 with serial number 652-662 drew lucky number
7-14-18-23-31-45 which consequently won 2nd category. You have therefore
been approved for a lump sum pays out of US$820,000.00 Eight Hundred and
Twenty Thousand United States Dollars
ALL participants in this lottery program have been selected randomly
through a computer ballot system drawn from over 20,000 companies and
30,000,000 individual email addresses from all search engines and web
sites. This promotional program takes place every year, and is promoted and
sponsored by eminent personalities like the sultan of Brunei, Bill Gates Of
Microsoft Inc, Multi Choice and other corporate organizations. This is to
encourage the use of the internet and computers worldwide.
For security purpose and clarity, we advise that you keep your winning
informations confidential until your claims have been processed and your
money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid
double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.
We look forward to your active participant in our next year USD50 Million
You are requested to contact our clearance officer below to assist you with
your winning and subsequent payments. All winning must be claim not later
than two months after the date of this notice. Please note, in order to
avoid unnecessary delay and complications remember to quote your reference
number and batch numbers in all correspondence. Furthermore should there be
any change of addresses do inform our agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more and thank you for being part of our promotional
program. Please take note that all reply should be addressed to the above
NOTE; YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED IF YOU ARE
BELOW 18 YEARS OF