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:
- 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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "info@Olympics.co.br" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2016 13:59:41 +0800
Subject: The Olympics Promotion Award Team
Dear Luck Winner.
We wish to congratulate you over your success in the official publication of results of electronic online sweep-stake organized by Olympics Promotion Award Team.
Olympics Online lottery prize £650,000.00 (Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds) only has been awarded to you for watching the Olympics game as the recipients email address was chosen out of a possible fifty million at random.
This is to inform you that you are among the two hundred (200) lucky winners of Category A. Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to be active in Olympics Online Game.
A winning Cheque will be issued in your name by the Olympics Promotion Award Team, You have therefore won the entire sum of £650,000.00 (Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds) only and also a winning certificate of your prize money will be sent to your resident home.
These are your identification numbers.
OFFICIAL FUNDS RELEASE FORM.
(1) Your Full Name.
(2) Your Contact Address.
(3) Your Direct Tel/Fax Numbers.
(4) Your Nationality/Country.
(6) Marital Status
(7) Ticket Number, Serial Number, Lucky Number.
(8) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
(9) How Do You Feel As A Winner?
The Olympics Promotion Award Team has reached a decision from headquarters that any double claim discovered by the Lottery Board will result to the cancelling of that particular winning, making a loss for both the double claimer and the real winner, as it is taken that the real winner was the informer to the double claimer about the lottery. So you are hereby strongly advised once more to keep your winnings strictly confidential until you claim your prize.
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of Olympics Board Commission and we wish you continued good fortunes.
MR IVO FERRIANI