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 united states 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)
- "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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447053838236 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Marc Andreessen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:10:20 -0700
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/BULK folder, that is
because of the restrictions implemented by your Internet Service
Provider, we (Facebook Lottery Team) urge you to treat it genuinely.
Your E-MAIL ACCOUNT has won the sum of $5,000,000.00USD (Five Million
United States Dollars) in the on-going Facebook online award promo.
Your Ticket number is 00545 188 564756. All participant were selected
through a computer random integrated system drawn in 27 million E-mail
addresses via the Internet and lucky winners do not have to purchase
any ticket to participate in this lottery program. Forward your full
details such as your name: telephone number: age: sex and address for
processing and payment of your winning.
Kindly forward below details to:
Contact Person: Mr. David M. Wehner
======= Chief Financial Officer
Your e-mail won our Jackpot, congratulation once more.
Yours in service,
Facebook Lottery Facilitator.
Do not doubt this letter or disregard as we are ready to give you
attention until you receive your unbelievable Prize Award from
Facebook. Contact our verification office through this mobile number;