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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Bankgiroloterij" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:31:05 -0700
Subject: Email user
File Serial No: DC-4540/040MY.
Payment Ref No: AMCMAR/03-14
We are pleased to announce to you the out come of our Internet Sweepstake program that was conducted on the 10th Day of April, 2014. This e-mail address with a File Serial Number: DC-4540/040MY which was extracted among other e-mail addresses from the Internet Data Base has won you the email beneficiary cash prize money of 1,925,000 Only (One Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand Euros Only). You are advice to contact our Payment Department through the below stated details for the release of your prize money.
Mr. Albert Zeeman.
As part of our security protocol/record purposes, we kindly ask that you keep your winning information securely should in case you were requested to reconfirm the winning details in future references. This lottery program was conducted and sponsored by us and in conjunction with a consortium of software companies. Your winning must be claimed not later than the 28days of your receipt of this message hence we advice you provide our payment department as mentioned above with the below stated details for the processing of your payment file.
1). Complete Full Names:
2). Residential Address:
4). Phone/Fax Numbers:
5). A Scan Copy of any valid proof of your Identification like International Passport or Drivers License that will be use for the processing of your payment file:
Congratulations and thanks for being part of our Lottery program.
Hans Mayer. (Programs Coordinator)
For: Bankgiroloterijo NL. (Lotto is een onderdeel van De Lotto).
Copyright(c) 2013 by Bankgiroloterij, the Netherlands.