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:
- "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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Google Inc" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 17:00:11 -0500
Subject: ****SPAM(46.8)**** VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE ****NOT SPAM(40.8)****
Google United Kingdom.
76 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9TQ,
GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATION.
We wish to congratulate you over your success in the official publication of results of the E-mail electronic online
sweepstake organized by Google, in conjunction with the Foundation for the Promotion of Software Products (F.P.S.P)
and confirmed by our co-sponsors Visa®/MasterCard® International. Google earns its profit mainly from advertising
using their very own Gmail, Gala, Sify e-mail services, Google Maps, Google Apps, Orkut social networking, You Tube video sharing, Google search engine and the Google ancillary services which are all offered to the public for free.
This is to inform you that you are among the Ten (10) lucky winners of Category A. Hence we do believe with your
winning prize, you will continue to be active to the Google search engine/ancillary services. Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an on-line e-mail beta test which your email address won £950,000.00.
A winning cheque will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Award; for the sum of Nine Hundred and Fifty
Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling (£950,000.00) and also a certificate of prize claims will be sent alongside your winning cheque cashable at any bank.
You are advised to contact the assigned Google Program Administrator/Coordinator with the following details:
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM.
(1) Your Contact Address/Private Email Address
(2) Your Tel/Fax Numbers
(3) Your Nationality/Country
(4) Your Full Name
Contact (Program Administrator/Coordinator) Mr.Larry Smith - Google Senior Fellow
Fax: +44 (0) 704-307-3105
Google values your right to privacy! Your information is 100% secured and will be used exclusively for the purpose of this award only.
Mode of Price Remittance
(1) Bank to Bank Transfer of all your funds to your designated account in your country.
(2) Courier Delivery of your Certified Winning Cheque and other Winning Documents to you safely .
The Google Promotion Award Team has discovered a huge number of double claims due to winners informing close
friends relatives and third parties about their winning and also sharing their pin numbers. As a result of this, these friends try to claim the lottery on behalf of the real winners. The Google Promotion Award Team has reached a decision from its headquarters that any double claim discovered by the Lottery Board will result to the canceling of that particular winning, leading to a loss for both the double claimer and the real winner, as it is taken that the real winner was the informer to the double claimer about the lottery. So you are hereby strongly advised once more to keep your winnings strictly confidential until you claim your prize.
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of the Google interactive Lotteries Board Commission.
Lawrence "Larry" Page - Co-founder and CEO of Google Inc