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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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!
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Pichai Sundar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 01 May 2019 10:25:17 -0700
Google UK Ltd
123 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SH
Ref No: GFSP/ 31177/137782/2019
Batch: GFSP/ 373977/GPWIN/UK
RE: OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION LETTER.
It is obvious that this notification will come to you as a surprise but please find time to read it carefully as we congratulate you over your success in the following official publication of results of the E-mail Electronic Online Sweepstakes Organized by Google, in conjunction with the foundation for the Promotion of Software Products, (F.P.S.) held on 24TH April 2019,Here in London UK. Google earns its profit mainly from advertising using their very own Google services, such as G-mail, Google +, Google map, Google Earth, Google Academy, Google Search, Google Chrome, Google Docs and others. Google is really leading company in the field of online services, which are suitable in using, practical and make it possible to enjoy the use of them, which are all offered to the public for free.
We wish to congratulate you once again, for being among the Twelve (12) selected winners in the ongoing E-mail Electronic Online Sweepstakes. Hence we do believe with your prize, you will continue to be active in your patronage to Google and its Products. A Bank Cheque has been issued in your favour, hence you have won for yourself the sum of Â£950.000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling), One Google Nexus 10 Tablet and also you have been enlisted as One of the Google Ambassadors for 2019.
To claim your reward, please contact our Foreign Payment Bureau officer below by neatly filling the verification and funds
release form below, as your payment will be released and arranged by our United Kingdom Office.
MANDATORY FOREIGN PAYMENT RELEASE FORM.
(1) Your Contact Address:
(2) Your Contact Telephone/Mobile Number:
(3) Your Nationality/Country:
(4) Your Full Names:
(7) Marital Status:
(8) Private Email Address:
(9) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
(10) How Do You Feel As A Winner?
Senior Vice President,Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Note: You can either fill your claims verification form by printing and manually filling out the requested details or you can fill
directly on e-mail, or provide the details on Microsoft Word.
NOTE!!! For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims are processed and
your money remitted to you. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this
Program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be WARNED!!!!
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of Google Board Commission.
MD Matt Brittin, Larry Page
Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, Co-Founder & CEO
Google United Kingdom.