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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark E. Zuckerberg" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2022 01:42:26 +0200
Subject: Dear Friend,
156 UNIVERSITY AVE.
PALO ALTO, CA 94301-1605
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
DEAR BENEFICIARY,We are pleased to notify you of the result of our
annual Final draws held on the ( 21st OCTOBER 2021 )
by the Facebook Promotion group to encourage the usage of Facebook
world wide, your Email was Luckily Selected among the
lucky ones who won $3,500,000.00 (Three million five hundred thousand
dollars) each on the Facebook Compensation Promo .The online draws was
conducted by a random selection of emails and you were picked by an
Advanced automated random computer searcher from the Facebook Lottery
Authority.The compensation program is a new innovation by Facebook and
Its 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.In other to
Claim your $3,500,000.00 you are advised to contact Miss.Beverly Ann
on Facebook or via Email (email@example.com)which is the
officer in charge of payment.
Please make sure you contact her with below listed information to
enable us to process your winning certificate and for further
information regarding the disbursement of your Facebook Lottery Award.
Home Address :
Phone Number :
All winnings must be claimed not later than 3rd July 2022, After this
date, all unclaimed funds will be included in the next year stake.
Mr. Mark E. Zuckerberg
Chief Executive Officer