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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "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: "Mr.Mark E. Zuckerberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 13:58:10 +0100
Subject: Greetings to you Dear lucky winner.
Facebook Online International Lottery From: The Desk Of the President.
International Promotions / Prize Award.
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded
annual final draws held on Search Results
Web results June 14 2020 by Facebook group in cash
promotion to encourage the usage of Facebook worldwide. Your name was
among the 20 lucky winners who won $650.000.00USD (Six hundred and
Fifty Thousand United State Dollars) each on the Facebook group
promotion award attached to Lucky Number (FB-225-7736), Ticket Number
(?5647600545189?), Batch Number (FB-0281/544) and Serial Number
The online draws was conducted by a random selection of emails you
were picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the
Facebook in other to claim your $650.000.00usd the lottery program
which is a new innovation by Facebook, is aimed at saying a big thank
you to all our users for making Facebook their number one means to
connect, communicate, relate and hook up with their families and
friends over the years.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and
unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants and scam
artists all participants were selected through a computer ballot
system drawn from over 20,000 companies and 30,000,000 individuals
email addresses from all over the world. This promotional program
takes place every three years. You may be rest assured that this is
real and legal. There are some scam artists around but thanks to the
FBI, 216 of them have been arrested.
You are required to get back to me with information below for the
complete processing of your Winning certificate and further
information regarding the disbursement of your lottery winnings.
Country of Residence:
Your Email Address:
Furthermore, if there is any change in email addresses please contact
us on time.
Thanks and more Congratulations!
Mr.Mark E. Zuckerberg