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: Manana Zuma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2013 12:21:31 +0200
*OVERSEAS STAKES SOUTH AFRICA. OFFICE: 8-10 NELSON MANDELA AVE, BRYSTON,
JOHANNESBURG REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. Contact Agent Williams Jacob.
* Telephone* *+27-83-879-5528* <%2B27-83-879-5528>
*. REF NUMBER; OSL/653/029/03 BATCH NUMBER; AT-040-SB06-03 Dear Sir/madam,
We are pleased to inform you, that as a result of our recent lottery draws
held on 24th December 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$1,820,000.00 One Million Eight
Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars *
*Note: 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 slot. 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 this email.
(**Williams.email@example.com <Williams.firstname.lastname@example.org>* * )*
* NOTE; YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED IF YOU ARE BELOW 18 YEARS OF
AGE. Sincerely yours,*
*Thomas Mabope. *