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:
- "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)
- "here in united kingdom" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045740639 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:12:06 -0800
Subject: Re: CONGRATULATION!!!
MICROSOFT 2022 PARTNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
British Microsoft Award Headquarters:
Customer service: Cardinal Place
80-100 Victoria Street London SW1E 5JL.
We happily announce to you that Microsoft 2022 Partner of the Year
Awards here in UNITED KINGDOM (UK) collects 5,000 Email addresses from
all part of the world with network services and Drew (Batch No 101)
held on 07th June 2022.
Your E-mail Address attached to Ticket Number:4556012 has emerge
winner after through random selection of all active email addresses
online and have just won the sum of 800,000.00(GBP)Great British
Pounds. Award conducted by MICROSOFT WORLD ONLINE.
Fill and send the following details below for confirmation,
authentication and payment of your winning prize to MR.JOHN COUSINS:
WINNERS ARE ADVISED TO MAIL FOR VERIFICATION:
NOTE: INCOMPLETE INFO IS NOT ACCEPTABLE:
(1) YOUR FULL NAME
(2) YOUR COMPLETE HOME OR OFFICE ADDRESS
(3) YOUR DIRECT TEL/FAX NUMBER
(4) YOUR DATE OF BIRTH: DAY/MONTH/YEAR
(5) YOUR OCCUPATION.
(6) PROVIDE ONE OF THESE IDENTIFICATIONS IN THE BRACKET (A.
INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT, B.DRIVER'S LICENSE, AND C. NATIONAL
CONTACT: MR.JOHN COUSINS
Mr. William Mayville
Online Coordinator for Microsoft Reward
A Subsidiary of British-Lottery Services.