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.
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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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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: Mrs Angela Dirk <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2007 16:13:01 +0100
Subject: FINAL WINNING NOTIFICATION!
INTERNATONAL E-MAIL AWARD DEPARTMENT
Ref No: CHI/15-027/11
Batch No: 22/2017/ING
Attn: Dear Sir/Madam,
FINAL WINNING NOTIFICATION!
We are pleased to inform you of the results of the Spainish EUROMILLION =
LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL programs held on 13th of December 2007. With your =
e-mail address attached to Ticket No: 1207 and Lucky No:24-077.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of ?750,000.- (Seven =
hundred and fifty thousand Euros) in cash. Congratulations!!!
To begin your claim, do file for the release of your winning by contacting =
your Accredited Claims Agent;
Protective Security Firm Madrid-Spain.
(Foreign Operations Manager) Contact Name: Dr Anthony Smith
Please note that your winnings has to be notarized and your certificate of =
award issued before your prize money is released to you.And all winnings must =
be claimed not later than three weeks after notice is sent.After this date =
all unclaimed winnings will be nullified.
Do not respond to this email,Contact your claims agent now with all necessary =
informations including contact telephone/fax numbers and winning details.
Mrs Angela Dirk