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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Mr. Chester Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:39:45 +0200
Subject: You must reply ASAP before your deadline ....
- This mail is in HTML. Some elements may be ommited in plain text. -
Dear Respected friend,
We want to inform you that Your facebook account has been selected as
one of the lucky winners of One Million US dollars, $US 1,000,000
from the 2019 facebook users promotion award sponsored by facebook CEO Mr Mark Zuckerberg,
but the amount of money that was awarded to you is still tagged unclaimed and we advice you to contact the
award office now to claim your gift before deadline.
The news of this award can be found in the abc News and some local News papers in US.
We contacted you here because this is the email you registered with facebook.
To receive your award, you must reply to this email and send the
following information before claims deadline:
1. Your Full name 2. address/country: 3. Phone: 4. Sex :5. Age :6. Profession.
You should send the above information to Chester Hoffman" through the below email address:
Once we receive your claims details, your award will be processed and your money will be remitted to you.
Palo Alto, US.
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