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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FACEBOOK" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2019 06:36:53 -0800
Subject: FACEBOOK ONLINE PROMO
FROM: FACEBOOK ONLINE PROMO
THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR,
PROMO UNIT, FACEBOOK INC.
Dear Facebook User,
Inline with our aim to say A BIG THANK YOU to our Online Users for making Facebook their number one means to Connect, Communicate, Relate and Hookup with their Families, Love Ones and Friends over the years, I wish to sincerely congratulate you, because your Facebook Account won the online draw conducted by a random selection of email in an Advanced Automated Random Computer search.
The DRAW which was held on the (2ND OF JANUARY 2019) by Facebook Inc. selected your Facebook Account attached to Ticket Number (E4AF3748-2015) among the 35 Lucky Winners who won US$500,000.00 ( Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) each.
Kindly contact the Lottery Department via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further instructions as regards fund claim. Also signify your interest by providing the following information:
Secretary, Promo Coordinator.
FACEBOOK INC. © 2018.