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)
- ",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)
- "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: dorinda kim <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 May 2019 16:47:50 +0100
Subject: WHATSAPP INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY ORGANIZATION.
WHATSAPP INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY ORGANIZATION.
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement made today, You are
among the winners of the WHATSAPP INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM
Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from all part
of the world as part of our electronic business Promotions Program. As
a result of your visiting various websites we are running the
e-business promotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached to
ticket number: 085-12876077-09, Batch Numbers:EGS/22504002/03, Serial
Numbers:51390-0 and won on this Lucky Number: 03-05-12-14-28-38.
Furthermore, If you are the correct owner of this email address then
be glad this day as the result of the Whatsapp lotto online e-mail
address draws of 4th May 2019 held this time in Malaysia has just been
released and we are glad to announce to you that your email address
won you the sweepstakes in the first category and you are entitled to
claim the sum of USD $1,000,000.00
You are to contact Mr. ALBERT JAY on the below email address for
available options on how to receive your winnings fund. Note that Mr.
ALBERT JAY might fail to recognize you as the true winner and receiver
of the USD $1 000,000.00 if you fail to include the following in your
contact mail to him:
Date of Draw............
Country of Origin....
Country of Residence/work.......
Make sure you send your reply to the below email address and Attention
it to Mr ALBERT JAY.
MR ALBERT JAY
MRS LINDA SUE
Assistant Online Coordinator.
WHATSAPP LOTTERY ORGANIZATION.
MRS LINDA FOSTER.
From: Online Winning Notification Department,
WHATSAPP LOTTERY ORGANIZATION.