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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2016 19:51:08 +0800
Subject: 2016 MICROSOFT INTERNATIONAL
Congratulation!! Congratulation!! Congratulation!!
Special report, Note: PAYMENT TO MAKE BY TT AND ATM CARD
Please bear with us since it is a new payment policy to eradicate fraud.We are pleased to inform you of the announcement made today, You are among the winners of the microsoft 2016 INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from all part of the world as part of our electronic business Promotions Program.
As a result of your visiting various websites we are running the e-business promotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached to ticket number 343-221-8756, with serial number 454-17 drew the lucky numbers 3, 8, 13, 22, 27, 41 and Bonus number 12 , Your INSURANCE Number: FLS433/ 453L /GMSA and consequently you won in the Second Category of the 2016 microsoft International.
You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$1,000 000, 00 in cash ONE Million Dollars
Please contact the claim agent below to receive your award prize.
Claim agent : Mr Martin Groben
Google Microsoft Award Department
Tel : +44-2035142636
1.Name in full:
8.Short comment on our products. [Optional]
9. Fax [optional]
Send above information in your correspondences with your claims agent