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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Satya Nadella." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:25:41 +0300
Subject: Re: Your ATM Card Update!!!!
Attn: Lucky Winner,
We are happy to notify you that your e-mail address has been awarded $1.5 Million United State Dollars from a Data Base of Internet Email Users and qualified you a
benefited winner of the above stated winning amount $1.5 Million United State Dollars in our MICROSOFT E-MAIL PROMO AWARD 2017 which you will receive in the form of
ATM card Cashable in any ATM MACHINE in the world.
Your File Ref No: MSW-L/2016-28733, BATCH No: 40510 and Pin Code No: MZ07570311.
For claims please contact agent below:
Name: Mr.Larry Williams
The MICROSOFT National Lottery Program gives grants to globe for the less privilege once; we are here to use our diverse heritage to change lives in every part of the
global world, sustain and transform individual lives all over the World. Your E-mail address were listed and approved for this payment as one of the lucky winner to be
paid this amount $1.5 Million United State Dollars.
YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONTACT THE CLAIM AGENT FILL THE FORM BELOW AND SEND TO HIM FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD TO YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
1. FULL NAMES:-----------------------
2. CONTACT ADDRESS:------------------
3. MOBILE NUMBERS:-------------------
7. MARITAL STATUS:-------------------
Congratulations Once More!!!