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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",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!
Fraud email example:
From: MARIO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:41:48 -0800
Subject: RE: DID YOU AUTHORIZE MR DICKSON TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND?/REPLY!
This is to inform you that your email address was among the winning email in the just concluded MICROSOFT EMAIL BALLOT LOTTERY. The selection process was done through a computerized selection system from a database of over 6,500,000 E-mail addresses drawn from all the continents of the globe.
No ticket was sold or bought, but each individual play coupon representing an email ID was used. This promo is basically aimed at encouraging/promoting the use of internet for education/health/medical and scientific research across the globe.
However after review and certification of your payment file by the National Lottery Board, a bank has been assigned to make payment of US$5.5 Million (Five Million, five hundred thousand US Dollars only) to you as winning by wire transfer to the Bank account that you will provide to receive the fund but as we have written so many mails to you since the award was announced for which we have not received any response from you, rather, we have been receiving several mails from MR DICKSON LAURENT instructing us to process the payment in his favor based on the agreement that he has reached with you to receive the fund in your favor but we deem it wise to hear from you first before we can take any further step to send the fund to him as he has been requesting.
Should you adhere to our directives, your payment will be made available to you within 72 hours, in this respect; you are required to reconfirm your information for verification and immediate payment.
1 Your full names
2. Your full Addresses
3. Direct telephone numbers
4. Date of birth
We shall be looking forward to your urgent response to this message today and if you need further information, don't hesitate to get back to me by mail.
Thanks and best regards.
MR MARIO AF ZEQUINHAS
NATIONAL AWARD BOARD