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:
- "bank charges " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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: MR WREELE DOUGLAS <"www."@leaf.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: MR WREELE DOUGLAS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:00:56 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Contact person Rev. Moses Hands
My Name is Wreele Douglas. An FBI Agent. I am a contract staff
currently attached to the verification department of the Camelot Group
of the Online National Lottery mainly for non UK citizens. Your
winning check of $4,306,515 (Four Million, three hundred and six
thousand, five hundred and fifteen United States Dollars only) was
about to expire due to your inability to travel to our office in
London as the Lottery rules and regulations demanded. However, I
managed to convert the check to cash in a Golden Metal Trunk Box
because it was the only way to circumvent you from losing your life
To avoid multiple taxations and the bank charges as overdue and
unclaimed lottery fund, I have successfully dispatched your golden
metal box with Reg# UK8100CT through cargo and the golden metal box
has arrived JFK International airport cargo unit, and has passed
through custom checks.
The golden metal box is now at the airport storage facility at the
cost of $25 dollars daily. Every documentation and process is
legitimate because it is a lottery winning fund. Please kindly make
sure you contact Mr. Nokia Lopez on (1-929-274-5810) and email (
(email@example.com ). I have done everything to make sure you
receive your winning. Please call the officer's number below for a
verification and QUICK process.
John F Kennedy International Airport
Access Road New York,
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Tel: ( 1-929-274-5810 )
Contact person Rev. Moses Hands
The lottery details:
Winning no: ......................
Serial no: .......................
Ticket no: .......................
Amount won: ......................
Please reconfirm these information's to Mr. Nokia Lopez
1. Your Full Name: .......................
2. Your current address: .................
3. Your phone number: ....................
4. Nearest airport to your location: .....
5. Your Occupation: ......................
Note: Do not disclose the content of the Golden Metal Box to Mr. Nokia
Lopez or to anyone for security reasons.
THE NATIONAL LOTTERY,
VERIFICATION AND PROCESSING DEPARTMENT,