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 us 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)
- 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: Visa USA Inc <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:18:17 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE AWARDED PRIZE OF $2,000,000.00
Visa USA Inc.
2000 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577
Dear Lucky Winner!
Congratulations, we humbly wish to inform you that you have awarded prize
of two million US dollars ($2,000,000.00) for the yearly lottery promotion
which was organized and sponsored by Visa USA Inc. and Microsoft
International for the introduction of the new visa credit cards gold covers.
The Visa USA Incorporated and Microsoft! team arrange and gather all the
e-mail addresses of people that are active on-line, among the billion that
subscribed to all email addresses and others, we only select Nine (9)
candidates per annually as our winners through Electronic Balloting System
(EBS) without the candidate been applying. This visa USA Inc. - credit
cards lottery was aimed to help families and communities with the current
global crisis and also aimed to help reduce poverty in the global world.
This visa USA lottery prize must be claimed not later than fifteen (15)
working days from date of draw notification after the draw date in which
prize has won. Stay Connected, any prize not claimed within this period (15
days) will be forfeited.
Contact Person: -------- Mr. Donald Thompson (Administrator)
E-mail Address: --------- firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll-Free Number: ---------------- +1-800-67-8372
Kindly fill the below form and contact your claims administrator via e-mail
/phone for the 48hours delivery of your winners certificate and your
Co-Branded visa credit cards gold cover of two million US dollars
($2,000,000.00). Find out more, you are therefore advised to send the
following information to the above email address to facilitate and process
your winning prize payment with the appointed paying bank.
Ticket No #: 51345810
Lucky winner's No#: 233239474922
Reference code No#: D7627270008VCL
Registration codes No#: 5148/4178-2014VCL
Please follow our guidelines outlined at the body of this message.
Send your Identification numbers/your personal information immediately to
Full Names: ___________________________________________
Contact Address: ______________________________________
Cell Phone: ___________________________________________
Country of Residence: __________________________________
Quote your complete names, winning amount and your direct cell/home phone
number so that they can honor your request. All winners shall be paid in
accordance with his/her settlement centre, now take the next step and claim
your prize and say thanks to Visa USA Incorporated. Contact your claims
administrator at: email@example.com
Make Yourself at Home. Make the Visa Inc. - credit cards your go, power to
Â© 1994 - 2014 Visa USA Incorporated - Credit Cards. All rights reserved.