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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "instagram Rewards Program" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 May 2019 06:13:39 +0300
Subject: Congratulations To you,
Congratulations To you,
We want to officially Announce to you and also congratulate you for
Emerging as One of our lucky winner on our on going promotion of Instagram
Mega millions of New York Lottery Division 2019 This is our 8th year of
Operation and we have over 400 million Users we want to congratulate you
for Winning the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars Cash) and also say
thank you for using Instagram. winning details below:
BATCH NO: J8302MD/W90
REF NO: 2017/3883920/290
Trns Code: 00984
In other to claim your Grand winning please kindly contact our Agent for
more briefing and Transaction process with your Instagram ID and
Name: Howard carlmax
Regards, Maria Sanchez (Claim Mgr)
instagram Rewards Program,
2019. All rights reserved.