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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Robert Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 22:39:27 +0800
Subject: CONTACT MR JOSEPH LAMBERT IMMEDIATELY
The Promotion Department
22 Garden Close, Stamford,
Lincs, PE9 2YP, London
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash Price of
450,000.00 (Four hundred and fifty thousand Great British Pounds) and
a brand new BMW 7 Series Car from International programs held on the
November 8th, 2013 in the United Kingdom.
Contact the verification department in United State of America by
providing your secret pin code x7pwyz2011 and
your Reference Number BMW: 2551256003/23 to them.You are also advised
to provide them with the under listed information.you can contact the
online Co-coordinator or the agent at email@example.com
Contact Person:Mr Joseph Lambert
Tel: (443) 228-8125
1.Name in full.
2.Address in full.
3.Nationality & Present Country.
5.Phone /Fax /Sex.
Mr Robert Lee
Once again congratulations.