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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international lottery programme" (no such lottery exists)
- 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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "International Winning lottery" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 11:04:45 +0800
Subject: Congratulation Dear Winner.
Winning no: AUW8833/LDWN
Dear Lucky winner
We are delighted to inform you of your prize release on the Febuary
2017 from the International Lottery programme. Which is fully
based on an electronic selection of winners using their e-mail
Your E-MAIL was attached to ticket number; 00043282 0097667565 serial
This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 17-44-12-11-98 bonus
number 17,which consequently won the lottery in the second category.
You here by have been approved a lump sum pay of US$2, 000,000.00 (TWO
MILLION DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: ILP/MW 47147/17 from the total
cash prize shared amongst eight lucky winners in this 2017 category.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE: Simply contact our fiducial agent, RAYMOND
CHOONG MIKE at ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
1.FULL NAMES -
2.VALID MOBILE/CELL NO. -
4.COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE -
9.ID PROOF(SOFT COPY)
Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!
Yvonne Nagoya Shi Linda