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:
- "million united states 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- +447031955671 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:20:36 +0100
Subject: Contact Facebook(CFO)Immediately!!
Facebook Lottery Team
REF: online splash promo.
We (Facebook Lottery Team) proudly announce! that your E-MAIL ACCOUNT
has been selected as one of the lucky winners and has won the sum
$5,000,000.00USD (Five Million United States Dollars) in the on-going
Facebook online award promo. Your Ticket number is 00545 188 564756.
WINNING NUMBER: FB/575061725.
Serial number 5368/02
Lucky numbers: 17 98 09 67 46
All participant were selected through a computer random integrated
system drawn in 27 million E-mail addresses via the Internet and lucky
winners do not have to purchase any ticket to participate in this
Kindly forward below details to:
Contact Person: Mr. David M. Wehner
======= Chief Financial Officer
1* E-mail: email@example.com
2* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(**) Your Full names:
(**) Your Telephone Number
(**) Your Contact address:
(**) Your Occupation:
(**) Your Country:
(**) Your Age & Sex:
(**) And your lucky number above:
NOTE: For security reasons and due to the mix-up of some numbers and
names, we ask that you keep this notification strictly from public
notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to
you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or
unscrupulous acts by non-participants of this program.
Yours in service,
Facebook Lottery Facilitator.