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 pounds" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (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 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ANGELA DAWES
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 07:00:45 +0530
Dear Sir / Madam,
This is a personal email directed to you. My wife and I won a Euro Millions of £101M Pounds jackpot on October 11, 2011 and we have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of ONE MILLION POUNDS to you as part of our own charity project to improve the lots of 15-20 lucky individuals all over the world plus 15 close friends and family.
We believe that this wonderful opportunity came to us from God and we cannot keep it to ourselves alone, Your e-mail address was submitted to us by Google Management Team and you received this email because we have short listed you as one of the lucky recipients, If you have received this email then you are one of the lucky winner and all you have to do is get back to us with your particulars so that we can send your details to the payout bank You can verify this by visiting the web pages below to see our interview and send your response back to us.
And one more thing, this donation is made out to you as to enable you strengthen your personal issues and mostly to generously help us extend hands of giving to the less privilege, orphans and charity organizations within your locality.
We await your urgent response.
Dave and Angela Dawes.