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.
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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 pounds" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Jack Jordan" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2021 13:09:16 +0100
We wish to inform you of the Lottery Draw held by National Lottery Commission here in London and this draw is held monthly and tag Mega/Jackpot,and you have been awarded the lump sum of £4 000.000.00 (Four Million Pounds) and your email address that Won the Draw and was gotten through United Kingdom Information Network Online (U.K.I.N.O) which is affiliated with the internet. so please contact your claims manager with details below and also provide him with the requested information so that he can expedite the processing on your winning payment.
==============COUNTRY: ============ADDRESS:============OCCUPATION:=============Gender:=============AGE:============CITY:=============STATE/PROV:===========ZIP/POSTAL CODE:
==================PHONE:==============FAX:================EMAIL:=============REFERENCE NUMBER:==========BATCH NUMBER:===============
Foreign Claims Department