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:
- "million 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Chanpon Chue (Asia Pacific Endowment Foundation)" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 16:13:19 +0200
Subject: UN Covid-19 Winning Notification fre
Asia Pacific Endowment Foundation
UN Covid-19 Winning Notification
We are glad to inform you that you're one of the six lucky winners in this United Nation
2020 edition of the COVID-19 Asia Pacific Endowment Foundation; individual
empowerment lottery promo in conjunction with Visa-Card Inc; owners of Visa
ATM Card world wide.
Details on the Beneficiary Selection Process:
No tickets were sold, Your email address is one of the lucky emails,
Selected randomly via E-wheel Computer Ballot System drawn from over
1Million companies and individual email addresses, from all over the world
during the VISA ATM Card / EMAIL; Online selection draws. In the mean time
we have been mandated to issue out this payment via our Swift ATM Card
office in Thailand, with the latest technology powered by the Inter-Switch
and the Visa Card Inc. This VISA ATM Card will be uploaded with your Winning
Prize-Money of One Million United State Dollars deliver
to your destination by a courier service firm. And a tracking number will be
issues to you to enable you track your parcel until it gets to you. This
card can be used in any ATM machine in any part of the global world, so if you like
to receive your Award-Winning Prize in this way, do contact the Lottery Online Coordinator.
MRS. KAITH NOGH BOON
With the following information:
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER,
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD
TO (P.O BOX NOT ACCEPTABLE)
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
Mr. Chanpon Chue