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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "national lottery promotion" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "foreign service manager" (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)
- 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.
- +447031967711 (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Carolina Curtis
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2016 20:38:40 -0400
Subject: National Lottery Winning Notification !!!
The National Lottery P.=
Liverpool L70 1NL. United Kingdom
(Customer service) NOTIFICATION DESK=3000
Attention: Email Account Holder,
We are happy to announce that you have won an Email lottery jackpot prize =
in our international lottery promotion.
Your active e-mail address attached to computer generated ticket number: 5=
6475600545 188 has won =A31.5Million Great British Pounds in UK Lottery 2nd=
category award prize,for more details about your winning prize contact our=
claim agent with your information.
For security reasons, we advise all winners to keep this information confi=
dential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize releas=
ed to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid dual claiming and=
unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-participant or unoffic=
ial personnel,You may want to go through our online web result checker
to verify your prize online with your numbers: 06 22 28 30 39 44
Contact Payment Processing Officer by fill in the information below
Full Name :
Home Address :
Gender : =
Telephone Number : =
Mr. Mike Johnson
Foreign Service Manager
Watford Regional Centre
Tolpits Lane, Watford WD18 9RN .ENGLAND
Phone Number: +447031967711
Congratulations once again!!!
Teresa Marie Roberts
Disclaimer- The information in this email is confidential and may be legall=
y privileged. It is intended solely for the address and others authorized t=
o receive it. If you are not the intended recipient any disclosure copying,=
distribution or action taken in reliance on its content is prohibited and =
may be unlawful.