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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "email@example.com" (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.
- +447035900545 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Microsoft Corporation Sweepstakes Promotion(c)UK2016" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 00:22:52 +0545
Subject: Congratulations Once More!!!
Microsoft Corporation SweepstakesPromotion(c)UK2016.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: ECB/06654 750.000GBP.
Registered in England No 929027.
Registered Office: 135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3UR
Winning No: 16522
Attention: Lucky Winner,
We are happy to notify you that your e-mail address has been awarded
Â£750.000GBP in our MICROSOFT E-MAIL PROMO AWARD(c)UK 2016. cash credited
to file REFNO:MSW-L/2016-28793,BATCH NO.4365MS. Your secret pin code is
ML0757985.for claims please contact::Mrs Jon Cole claim officer Email:
email@example.com Tel: +447035900545
The MICROSOFT National Lottery Fund gives grants to globe for the less
privilege once;we are here to use our diverse heritage to change lives in
every part of the global world. Sustain and transform individual lives all
over the World.Your E-mail ID were listed and approved for this payment as
one of the winner to be paid this amount 750.000GBP
YOU ARE ADVISED TO FILL THE FORM BELOW FOR THE RELEASE OF YOUR AWARDS FUND
 Full Names:
 Contact address:
 Country :
 Direct Mobile No:
 Occupation :
 Sex/Age :
 Marital Status :
 Other Email Address :
Option of Receiving Your Funds:
NOTE:You have two option for your funds to be remitting to
DELIVERING OF YOUR WINNING CHEQUE TO YOUR CONTACT
BANK 2 BANK TRANSFER WIRE
Congratulations Once More!!!
The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by former
CEO/Chairman, Bill Gates and a consortium of software promotion companies.
The Intel Group, Toshiba, Dell Computers and other International
Companies. The Microsoft Internet E-mail draw is held periodically and is
organized to encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer
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