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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:02:58 +0200
Subject: Confirm your award
You have won 1,500.000.00 (One million Five hundred thousand Euro),in the Cisco international Classic Email Sweepstakes Program, held on the 6th October 2014, in Amsterdam Netherland. You are hereby officially notified of this award and to advised to contact the processing office immediately. For the claim,
Contact: Dr. Donald Richie
City/Country: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Telephone No: 0031-6197-03948
Reply to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important to note you that your award information was released With the following particulars attached to it.
E-mail Ticket Number: NL71425-63413
Reference Number: NED/6221-7846
Serial Number: 15425-647814CC
Amsterdam Batch Nr: 4517-5542GG
Draw Lucky Numbers: DS1074-2417NL
You are requested to state your full name & telephone Number in your confirmation of this prize.
Note: all winning must be claimed not later than 30th Working days
Sandra van Molenwijk.