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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: James David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 19:32:56 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Real gems international UNITED KINGDOM
Â Real gems international UNITED KINGDOMWestfield Shoppingtowns Ltd(http://www.national-lottery.co.uk/Company No. 03912122VAT registration number 815 0326 63Level 6, Midcity Place71 High HolbornLondon WC1V 6EAphone+447937453027INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD DEPT.SCFN: GWK/5333/025648/03UAD.BATCH: 241/2014/BLL.
This is to inform you that your E-mail ID has won $1 Million USD,from real gems international PROMOTION AWARD Held 20th Jul 2014. Note that there were no sales of tickets as the real gems internationalPROMOTION AWARD was held through collations of emails via the internet. Â This selection process was carried out through a random selection in our Computerized Email
Selection System (C.E.S.S.) from a database of over a million email addresses from the World Wide Web. Your Email ID was attach as a winner of this year promotion,
Ref No Â E769ZF35 and Serial Ticket No E7K2907803-2 Contact your claims agent department immediately with all details below for the procedure of you
claims. for more details:1.Full Name:
7.You email Address...
8.Tel Number/ Mobile Number:
we are looking forward for your urgent reply...................email@example.com