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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (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: "Mrs. kirsten kempkes" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:29:40 +0200
Subject: WINNER!!! WINNER!!!
MICROSOFT CORPORATION'S LOTTERY RESULTS 2016
MICROSOFT CORPORATIONS INTERNET LOTTERY
Microsoft Corporations International Lottery Office,
Microsoft Corporations announced you as one of the 7 lucky winners of the ongoing
Microsoft Corporations lottery Award of the Year Held this month. All 7 winning email
addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 800,000,000 international emails each
from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as
part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently,
you have been approved for a total pay out of TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED
STATE DOLLARS (USD$2.5M).
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational companies
as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have
Further more your details (e-mail address) falls within our Branch office here in
Manchester England, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of
(USD$2.5M). will be released to you from this main branch office of Microsoft
Corporations Manchester England.
We wish to informed you that your fund has been approved and insured in your name as well
as ready for delivery.
These are your winning identification numbers.
To begin your lottery claims, Please contact our Microsoft Corporations Lottery Co-
ordinator as follows;
Fullname: Dr. Susan Williams
You are to send the completed verification form below to the co-ordinator whose email
address is given above so that you will be advised on what to do to get your prize money.
Congratulations once more!!
Country Of Origin:............
Date Of Birth:.................
Ticket and Lucky No:.......
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote
your reference and batch numbers in all correspondences with us, Furthermore, should there
be any change of address, please do inform our Co-ordinator as soon as possible.
An original copy of your lucky winning ticket and your deposit certificate will be sent to
you by Lottery Administrative Remittance Operation.
We wish you continued good fortunes.
Mrs. kirsten kempkes
Head of Publications Department, Microsoft Corporations Online Promo.
Copyright! 2015-2016 The Microsoft Corporations England.