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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",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 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: CANADA LOTTERY <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 02:49:21 +0200
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION.
From: Ms. Susan Goedde
Canada Lottery- in Conjunction with Lotto Sizzler international annual
Attention: Customer AFRSA680
Ticket Number: A9564 75604545 002
Batch No. Lotto BC 2
Congratulations! Your email address has won US$840,000.00 dollars in
the Canadian-Sizzler Lottery Online Lucky Program, held on the 20th of
July 2016 in Ontario Canada, organized by the Canadian and South
African Government. We are happy to inform you that your email address
attached to Ticket #: A9564 75604545 002 drew the Winning #:
1-14-16-28-30 with bonus #:2. Have emerged a winner of a total sum of
US$840,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars)
in cash credited to file EAAL/8510YHI/18, this is from a total cash
prize of US$120,000,000.00 Million Dollars, shared amongst the first
One Hundred and forty two (142) lucky winners in this category
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our Afro
booklet representative head office in Africa as indicated in
electronic play coupon. Our African agent will immediately commence
the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you
contact our African Agent's office. All participants were selected
randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws system and
extracted from over 100.000,000 companies and personal emails.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information
confidential till your claims is processed and your fund remitted to
you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. To file for
your claim, please contact our corresponding payment agent in South
Africa immediately you read this message for quick and urgent release
of your fund, contact information is as follows:
Contact Person: Mr. John Liebenberg
TEL: +27 63 001 1198
Ms. Susan Goedde (Sec. Zonal Co-coordinator).
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your
ticket numbers in any correspondences with our designated agents.
NOTE to confirm that you have the winning number for the 20/07/2016
draw, do confirm under.
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