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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Facebook winners" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 May 2018 01:33:07 +0100
Subject: Facebook Claim Ofiice Departments
My name is Esther Gilbert from Menlo Park CA, I work for Facebook company
I was asked to contact you by the Facebook C.E.O Mr Mark Zuckerberg and he
ask me to pass to you some good news.
Before i proceed i will like to know if you have heard or been out
staff informed you about your winning prize ? Informed you about the ongoing Facebook Promo going on ?
I want you to know that online Facebook draws was conducted by a random
selection of emails,you were picked by an advanced automated random
computer search from the Facebook organization in other to claim
your$1.000,000.00. USD And a SUV AND TRUCK.
The Facebook organization promotion program which is a
new innovation by Facebook, is aimed at saying a big thank you to all our
users for making Facebook their number one means to connect, communicate,
relate and hook up with their families and friends over the years.
We are happy to let you know these is 100% real and legit and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also aware of these winning Promo so
you have nothing to worry about you going to get your winnings as soon as you
follow the instruction given to you by us.
I want you to know that before we proceed on the winnings we will need this
information for the processing of the winning prize...
As part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted
abuse of this program by some participants and scam artists all
participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over
20,000 companies and 30,000,000 individuals email addresses from all over
the world. This promotional program takes place every three years. You are
to be rest assured that this is real and legal. There are some scam artists
around but thanks to the FBI, 216 of them have been arrested.
I want you to know that we have four way our lucky winners receive there winnings prize and you have to choose one of the option and get back to us so
that we can process on it ...
1, ATM CARD (delivery)
2, CHECK (delivery)
3, BANK TRANSFER (money wiring)
4, Cash (delivery)
we have two different process all lucky winner get there winnings without
any conflicts ..
All I need from you is your full co-operation and your honesty
Thank you very much once again for your kind understanding towards this and also, CONGRATULATION!!!!!
YOU WILL GET BACK TO US WITH THE INFORMATION AND HOW YOU WANT YOUR WINNINGS
DELIVERED THAT IS THE EMAIL ADDRESS AND YOU MAIL GET THE EMAIL IN YOUR SPAM -JUNK BECAUSE OF N