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 united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Fondazion Di Vittorio, ITALY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Fondazion Di Vittorio, ITALY" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 05:08:41 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: !!IMPORTANT NOTICE!!
Fondazion Di Vittorio, ITALY
You were selected among the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of US$25,000,000.00 (twenty five Million United States Dollars) as charity donations/aid from the France Foundation, ECOWAS and the UNO in accordance with t he enabling act of Parliament.
You are required to expeditiously contact the Executive Secretary with your Qualification numbers (P-333-7858,B-011-67) for processing of your claims,you'll be given your donation pin number.Contact Mrs.Jennifer James (DPU) Information Officer.
Enter Personal Details:
First Name: Last Name:
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2 (optional):
City: State: Zip/Postal Code:
Valid Phone Number: Fax (optional):
DUE PROCESS UNIT:
Executive Secretary Mrs.Jennifer James