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.
- 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:
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "The Jaguar Automobile Promo Company" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 23:20:29 +0530
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS !! You won the Jaguar Automobile1st Award 2010
The Jaguar Automobile Promo Company
Bombay House, 24, Homi Mody Street,
Mumbai 400 001, India
CONGRATULATIONS LUCKY WINNER!!!
You have been awarded the sum of GB: 980, 000. 00 and a brand new
2010 Jaguar XJ-Series XJ Supercharged Sedan Car in our 2010 Jaguar Promotions which was held on the 20th of February by selecting through email ballot from about 10 million email addresses all over the world.
This award was done to support charity, educational growth and
infrastructural development in your neighbourhood and it is the first since the possession of the Jaguar Landrover by TATA Company in India. We are giving this as a grant to compensate all those who have advertise our products in one way or the other. We hope you enjoy your car and utilise the funds properly.
Contact your claims agent with the below information:
TATA CONSULTANTS INC. INDIA
Smt.(Dr.) David Raja
Tel: 00- 91-961-962-4248
Reply to your claims agent via his email and endeavour to call him also
with the above mentioned numbers as you make sure you provide these
details to him immediately.
1. Full Names:
3. Complete Address:
4. Zip code
5. Cell phone Number:
6. Age and Marital Status
7. Occupation and YEARS OF Experience
With these information your claims agent shall process your funds and your
cash prize shall be delivered within 5 days to you in your country.
Ms. Caroline Bennett
Jaguar Automobile Promotions