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:
- "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.
- +448726141040 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Uk-Thailand Lottery Organization" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:24:23 +0300
Subject: Your E-Mail Have Won!!!
UK LOTTERY ORGANIZATION (UK.L.O)
FREE TICKET & ONLINE PROMOTIONS
SWEEPSTAKES NO: UKLO/1115/BKKTH/6922
Dear Lucky Winner,
As part of our Free Ticket/Online Lottery Awareness Program and Bonanza for AUGUST 2016 held in Bangkok Thailand, we have carried out ACTIVE EMAIL
ADDRESSES computer draws in some regions. Note that the computer draws were based strictly and randomly on active email addresses of users that
never played our lottery this year.
You have been officially certified a legitimate winner and beneficiary of $4,600,000.00 U.S Dollars.
Your email address drew the Winnings Lucky Number (W.L.N): 33-33-4343-7466. This makes you an international winner in your region.
For details, guidance and processing of your lottery prize payment, contact our Appointed Claims/Processing Officer MR. JONATHAN KAI by email,
citing the following rightful winners payment verification information:
*** First and Last names
*** Telephone & mobile numbers
*** Home address, city & country
*** Winnings Lucky number & Month of draws
*** Date of birth
*** Occupation and Job title
The Contact Details are:
MR. JONATHAN KAI
EMAIL ADDRESS: ( email@example.com )
If you are pondering how you won without entering the draws or purchasing
the lottery ticket, then know that this very sweepstakes of AUGUST 2016 in
which you have emerged as a winner is a free ticket online draws conducted
on a computer balloting system using over hundred thousand email
addresses. At the time of winners collation, your email address came out
among the first ten which won you the lottery in the first winnings
category and entitles you to claim the complete sum of 4.6 Million U.S
Dollars without any hassles.
Congratulations from me and the organizing team of UK Lottery
Organization's Bangkok-Thailand free ticket sweepstakes of AUGUST 2016.
UK LOTTERY ORGANIZATION (UK.L.O)