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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447045797666 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- e-mail, mr.mike williams(phd) e-mail address: email@example.com e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Microsoft Award <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:28:58 +0100
Customer care .
701 first avenue
Sunnyvale, ca 94089.
Dear lucky winner,
This is to inform you that your e-mail address have won the sum of
$650,000.00 USA dollars in the year 2014/2015 online Yahoo,Microsoft and
G-mail on-line lottery promotions.Among the millions that subscribed at
Yahoo!G-mail,Hotmail and others we only selected three (3) candidates as
our winners after undergoing the random selection process through
electronic balloting system (E.B.S) without the candidate applied
This promotional program takes place every year and sponsored by eminent
personalities like the Sultan of Brunei,bill gates of Microsoft, G-mail and
Yahoo. You are to contact the claim agent Mr.Mike Williams (PH.D)who will
issue you a clearance paper as a winning certificate approved and certified
from our Regional Office in London,United Kingdom.Your prize money will be
released to you from any of our acredited banks as directed by the claim
Contact by e-mail,
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail address: email@example.com
(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm London local time)
Address: 125 Shaftesbury avenue, London,wc2h 8ad
You are required to send the information below to him to facilitate and
process the transfer of your prize with any of our bank promotional agent:
1. Full name:
2. Phone number:
5. Marital status:
7. Residential address:
9. International passport(must)
Note: You are advised to keep your winning information confidential to
avoid double claim and abuse of the program until your prize is paid to
you.your prize must be claimed not later than 14 days from date of draw
notification in which prize has been won.
Yahoo! Uk & ireland
This e-mail is from yahoo! Head office USA and approved by the yahoo! Uk
ltd,125 shaftesbury avenue, London, wc2h 8ad.
Copyright Â© 2015 yahoo inc!. All rights reserved