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:
- ",500,000" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- chief executive officer: mr. eric e. schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com mobile: +44 741 833 2263, fax: +44 (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "GOOGLE INC." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 Mar 2018 21:46:04 -0500
Subject: NOTIFICATION LETTER.
Google 13th Anniversary Awards Centre,
e House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, United Kingdom
Hello Google User
Dear Award winner
Award Reference code: GOOGLE568A2013
File number: G8744
This is to inform you that you have won yourself an Award of One
Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds (GBPÂ£1,500,000) in the
Google 13th Years Anniversary Awards as organized by the
Anniversary Centre of Google Inc., held on 2nd January 2018 in
London, United Kingdom.
The Anniversary Centre of Google Inc as a part of their for-
profit philanthropic wing selected your email id as of one its 20
chosen fortunate winner to receive this award.
Awards MUST be claimed by the email owner ONLY, not later than 30
days from the day of notification.
Send your complete personal information like your names, age and
complete contact address with your Award Ref. and File no. to us
to enable us process your Prize; Please provide your: Full names,
Address, Passport or ID Card and Direct phone number to claim
your winning prize.
NOTE: Do Not Reply If You Are Not The Owner Of This Email
Googleâs Chief Executive Officer: Mr. Eric E. Schmidt
Mobile: +44 741 833 2263, Fax: +44 845 874 1763