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:
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (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: "Ho Chang Pily (Mrs)" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 06:06:52 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Attention: Email Account Holder
Attention: Email Account Holder
We are glad to inform you that the Thailand Lotteries Commission in Collaboration with Lotto Royals on-line lotto and email address free-ticket draw of the 2020 Dollar Jackpot promotion Award has just been released, and we are glad to announce to you that your email address came out in the first category and entitles you to claim the sum of US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred United State Dollars)
This is a promotional program to encourage the use of Internet programs, Your email address was entered for the online draw on this free ticket number: AMD061662 with reference number: L20LFM4011 and Serial number: ZQ/1871, Batch number: DDF/17728 drew the Lucky number: **-01-41-26-24-** Bonus 01.
This subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. Matches 6 lucky numbers plus Bonus number you have therefore been allocated to claim a total sum of US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred United State Dollars) in cash which is credited to file ZAS/2837383319/09. This is from a total cash prize of $10, 280,000.00 shared among the 194 with (2) lucky winners "1st" category.
This promotion was drawn based on email addresses, as the key identification for setting up online accounts. All valid email addresses on the World Wide Web were entered as participants for the online email promotion. Winners were selected randomly via computer balloting from global website collaboration with internet companies like eBay, PayPal, Liberty reserve and Microsoft, whom also built their systems and based their membership registration identity on email addresses supporting this computer draw.
Also over 100,000 unions, associations, corporate bodies and affiliated members to Thai Lottery website and their advertisers listed online. These online promotions takes place via virtual ticket balloting.
Kindly Provide the following information urgently to commence release of your lottery prize:
1. Full name: 2. Physical Address: 3. Age: 4. Occupation: 5. Reference Number/Ticket Number: 6.Telephone Number: 7. Nationality: 8. Batch number:
9. Ever Won An Online Lottery? 10. How Do You Feel As A Winner?
Send the needed details to:
Congratulations once again!!
Ho Chang Pily (Mrs)
Lotto Promotion Officer