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.
- 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 dollars" (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)
- 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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Lotto" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 01:35:47 -0600
Subject: WAL-MART LOTTERY AWARD......
WAL-MART LOTTERY AWARD PAYMENT.
55 East 52nd street 21st
Floor New York, NY10022.
We are pleased to inform you the result of the concluded annual Final draws
held on the (1st November 2013) by Wal-Mart group in cash Promotion to
encourage their customer in North America, your Name was among the 20 Lucky
winners who won $US1 Million(ONE MILLION DOLLARS) each of the Wal-Mart group
promotion Award Attached to ticket number (5647600545189) and Ref No
(2551256002/244). The online draws was Conducted by a random selection of
phone number and you where picked by an Advanced automated random computer
search from Wal-Mart in other To claim your $US1 Million the lottery program
which is a new innovation by Wal-Mart, is aimed at saying A BIG THANK YOU to
all our customer for making Wal-Mart their number one.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted
abuse of this program by some participants and Scam artists All participants
were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 20,000
companies' and 30,000,000 individuals' phone number and names from all over
North America. This promotional program takes place every three years. You
have to be rest assured that this is real and legitimate. Your name was
selected in a raffle that was made 23rd of December 2012 so we need your fast
response so that we can proceed with the delivery of your Fund.
You are required to contact our dispatch dept via fax number 206-339-5102 and
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) with information below in order for us to
complete your winning certificate and for further information regarding the
disbursement of your lottery win.
FULL NAME: FULL CONTACT ADDRESS: MOBILE PHONE NUMBER: OCCUPATION: MARITAL
STATUS AND AGE: NATIONALITY / COUNTRY: TICKET NUMBER: REF NUMBER: YOUR EMAIL
All winnings must be claimed not later than 30 of December, 2013. After this
date, all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. To avoid
unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your Reference
and batch numbers in all correspondences. Furthermore, if there is any change
in your home address please contact us on time
Chairman of the board of director