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:
- "tax clearance" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. Never ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- "clearance certificate" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. Never ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "tax clearance" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- 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.
- +34695101818 (Spain, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: INFO LOT <INFOLOT56@web.de>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 16:51:27 +0100
Subject: URGENT INFORMATION ,
URGENT INFORMATION ,
Easydraw Loteria Español
Avd De La Castillano
16a-32b, 28550 Madrid Spain.
Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice the result of our Easydraw computer balloting Primitiva loteria held on 1st of FEB. 2008. This is scientific computer game in which email addresses were used. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging internet users, therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it. You have been approved for the star prize of 680, 000.00 Euro.(Six Hundred And Eighty Thousand Euro) CONGRATULATIONS!!
NOTE: to file for your claim, please contact the claim department below on email as well as on phone SEGUROS COMPANING SERVICES BARCELONA S.L . Reference and Batch number Remember to quote these numbers in your correspondence with your claims agent,
Mr.Juan J. Antonio).
Emails: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Ticket No: EPS/QBN8330
Lucky No: 11-20-26-33-41-54
Serial No: PMD/S.L5442
Note: You will be require to pay for the issuance of your Tax clearance certificate only. The certificate is your legal prove/guarantee which will be submitted to the bank for the remittance of your fund. The Validity period of the winnings is for 15 working days hence you are expected to make your claims immediately, any claim not made before this date will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed. And also be informed that 10% of your Lottery Winning will be paid to SEGUROS COMPANING SERVICES BARCELONA. S.L. As your claim agent after you have received your money. Once again congratulations !!!
Mrs ELENA M. LIUS
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