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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "we advice you" (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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Stephen Lens." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 16:13:57 -0800
Congratulations! Your email address has been selected for the prize of $800,000.00 (Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) as one of the lucky winners in this
year 2021 UK Online Lottery International Promotion Programme.
Winners were randomly selected email addressess from our database computerized system for using the internet both indoors and in your offices, please be informed that
your prize winning money worth $800,000.00 has been converted into an ATM MASTER CARD to be deliver to your house address for security reasons.
Your ticket No: TC-20325004, Batch No: 105/NJ/020-06 and Serial No: 011-055.
We advice you keep your winning information confidential until you have claim your ATM MASTER CARD worth $800,000.00 (Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for
this is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claim and abuse of this programme.
For the delivery of your ATM MASTER CARD you are required to contact your assigned agent with the below information;
Contact Person: Mr.Bray Williams
Contact E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Your Full Names:
(3) Telephone No:
(4) House/Delivery Address:
(5) Ticket No:
(6) Batch No:
(7) Serial No: