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:
- ",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)
- 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.
- 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: "Mrs.Susan Console" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 19:08:30 -0400
Subject: CALL FOR CONFIRMATION (WINNER)
2391 Beds 152 Koningin Julianaplein 21 ,
Haag, The Netherlands.
(Lotto affiliate with Subscriber Agents).
We are pleased to inform you
of the result of the Lotto NL Winners
International programs held on the
25th,March 2016. Your e-mail address
attached to ticket #: 00903228100 with
prize # 778009/NL drew ?1,000,000.00
which was first in the 2ndclass of the
draws.you are to receive
?1,000,000.00 (One Million Euros). Because of mix up
in cash pay-outs, we
ask that you keep your winning information confidential
until your money
(?1,000,000.00) has been fully remitted to you by our
bank. This measure must be adhere to avoid loss of your
cash prize -
winners of our cash prizes are advised to adhere to these
forestall the abuse of this program by other participants.
to note that this draws were conducted formally, and winners are
through an internet ballot system from 60,000 individual and
e-mail addresses - the draws are conducted around the world through
internet based ballot system. The promotion is sponsored and promoted
We congratulate you once again. We hope you will use part of it in
draws; the jackpot winning is ?85million. Remember, all winning must
claimed not later than 20 days. After this date all unclaimed cash
will be forfeited and included in the next sweepstake. Please, in order
avoid unnecessary delays and complications remember to quote personal
winning numbers in all correspondence with us.
again from all members of Lotto NL. Thank you for being
part of our promotional
For immediate release of your cash prize to you, please kindly
( Chartered Finance & Securities Den Haag.)
them the following:
(i). Your names,
(ii) Contact telephone and fax
(iii) Contact Address
(iv) your winning numbers
(v) Quote amount
Contact person: Mr. Joseph Guy.
Tel: +31 617 690 195
Yours in service,