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.
- 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: MICROSOFT ASIA-PACIFIC ONLINE OFFICE CORP
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:41:04 +0700
Subject: MICROSOFT ASIA-PACIFIC ONLINE OFFICE CORP.?
MICROSOFT ASIA-PACIFIC ONLINE OFFICE CORP.=A9 CODE NUMBER: Microsoft/24436=
38394/YMHGTICKET NO: Microsoft/2119383856/YMHGWINNING NUMBER: Microsoft/771=
12131512/YMHG Dear Lucky winner: Ref No: Microsoft/77112131512/YMHG Micro=
soft Asia Pacific Online Corp. wishes to inform you that your e-mail accoun=
ts have been selected and therefore has made you one of our winners in the =
MICROSOFT ASIA-PACIFIC E-MAIL ONLINE SWEEPSTAKES PROMOTION. MICROSOFT WIND=
OWS collects all the email addresses of the people who are active online; a=
mong the people who subscribed also to Hotmail, Msn, Aol, Gmail Yahoo & oth=
er Microsoft Webmail, we only select five people every year as our winners =
through an electronic balloting system without the winner applying. This co=
mes as a result of your constant use of our online and ancillary services. =
In case you still have doubts arising from the angle of how you got select=
ed, note that the selection process was carried out through an electronic e=
mail ballot system where millions of email addresses where drawn from world=
wide web email directories from which you have emerged as one of our lucky =
winners. Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to=
be active and patronage to the Microsoft Windows/Online Office. We wish to=
formally announce to you that you have successfully pass the requirements,=
statutory obligations, verification's, validations and satisfactory report=
Test conducted for all online winners. A winning Check (Cheque) of $1,000=
,000 US DOLLAR has been issued in your name by the Microsoft Asia Pacific P=
romotion Award Team, and also a certificate of prize claims, Certificate of=
Origin of Funds, Letter of Invitation to our office will be sent alongside=
your winning Cheque. Information's required from you are part of our prec=
autionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this pr=
ogram. To claim your won prize, please contact the Microsoft Asia Pacific A=
ward claims Cordinator (Dr.. Joe Li Tong) neatly filling the Verification f=
orm below.______________________________________ Dr.. Joe Li Tong,Microsoft=
Asia-Pacific Award Cordinator:E-mail: email@example.com________________=
_________________________ VERIFICATION FORM First Name:Last Name:Residentia=
l Address:Telephone/ Mobile:Fax Number:Nationality/Country:Date Of Birth (d=
d/mm/yr):Sex:Occupation/Position Held:Marital Status:Amount Won:Alternate E=
mail:Ever Won An Online Lottery Before? Yes/No We congratulate you for bein=
g one of the selected winners, and we also felicitate with you and your fam=
ily. This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the Interne=
t Microsoft Windows. Thanks & Regards James Miklo.Chairman, Organizing Comm=
ittee Microsoft Asia Pacific Promotion Award Team.=A9