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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- +447011138266 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UK NATIONAL FREELOTTO INC" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 20:06:38 +0700
Subject: UK Freelotto Weekly Results
UK NATIONAL FREELOTTO INC.
Head Office: 24A High St Starbeck
North Yorkshire, England HG2 7HY
Your Winning License: #46XZ450
This email is to inform you that you emerged a winner of £652,000.00 Pounds Sterling on our online draws which was played on the 10th of March 2010.
This draw is part of our yearly Bonus to all internet users in order to enhance and promote the use of Internet Explorer Users and Microsoft-wares buyers around the globe. The selection process was carried out randomly through our computerized email selection system Which Consequently pick up your email address attached to a Reference Number: UK455/Gk565/FR101 and Batch Number: FR3435/420NK for the draw and won you (£652,000.00 Pounds Sterling) in the 2nd category B matches 5 Bonus. It was selected along with others as winners.
You have therefore been approved by the UK National Freelotto Corporation Payment Service to claim a total sum of £652,000.00 Pounds Sterling only in Cash check credited to file UNL/45657/6523/10; your particulars have been documented for record purposes.
CLAIMS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM
1. Full Names: ______________________________
2. Marital Status: __________________________
3. Sex: ________________ Age: _______________
4. Occupation: ______________________________
5. Full Address: ____________________________
6. Nationality: _____________________________
7. Country of Residence: ____________________
8. Tel Number: _________ Mobile: ____________
9. Fax Number:_______________________________
Please include your complete winning details.
With regards to this, you are to send filled copy of the above claims release verification form to the Approved Courier Delivery Department Email Address for verification purpose by them before the delivery of your WINNING FUNDS/PARCEL can be delivered to your destination residential house address provide above to them. Below are the Dispatch Agent Name and Email Address appearing?
COMPANY NAME: OMNI EXPRESS COURIER LTD.
Dispatch Officer: Mr. Mark Lawrence
For More Enquiries Please Call:
Tel: +447011138266 +447045708108
Fax: +448704795004 +448447743465
NOTE: They are responsible for sending your original winning certificate and certified cheque/check to you by couriering it to you, as soon as you adhere to all instructions from the courier delivery department and cover their service charges only, then I can assure you that the process of your winning fund delivery will be hitch free and without any form of complications. Please oblige to follow their instructions so that your winning certificate and certified Bank cheque can get to your present residential address on time. Do ensure to file your claims to them with a copy of your verification particulars and scanned copies of driver's license or any form of national identity. Endeavour to make your winnings confidential for security reason during the process of transfer of your winning funds to you.
Thank you for your understanding and hope to hear from you soon as you receive your winning funds/parcel.
Sir. Gordon A. Stewart
Co-ordinator Online Promo Programmed.
Privacy Statement: This transmission is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or exempt from disclosure under applicable laws. If the recipient of this transmission is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering this transmission to the intended recipient, DO NOT READ, disseminate, or copy. Rather, we request that you destroy or discard this transmission and notify us immediately by e-mail.
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