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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (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 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: "FACEBOOK AWARD" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 31 May 2014 17:26:42 -0700
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS FROM FACEBOOK!!!
FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
CONGRATULATIONS FROM FACEBOOK!!!
The online draws was Conducted by a random selection of emails, you were picked by an Advanced automated random computer search from Facebook. Their beneficiary order to claim your $600,000:00 USD the lottery program which is a new innovation by Facebook is aimed at saying A BIG THANK YOU to all our users for making Facebook their number one means to connect, communicate, relate and hook up with their families and friends over the years.
Your name was selected in a raffle that was made 23rd of May 2014 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 email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) signifying your interest by providing your most confidential, your Name, Cell Phone number for quick communication also your home address and country.
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 email address please contact us on time
Note: Do not reply to these Face Book Account for security purpose reply to the payment department in charge and if you are not interested please do not bother to reply.
CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN FROM FACEBOOK!