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:
- 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:
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Micro Dpt" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 13.25.39 +0200
Microsoft Department of Promotion
Microsoft Italy s.p.a.
Dpt 11000 .
via del peadalilni Caserina 2 Roma,
Attention: Lucky Winner,
We congratulate you, being one of the lucky winners of the result of the Annual Microsoft Email Award held on the 1st of May 2010 in Italy . Your email address emerged as one of the 10 lucky winners selected electronically by our Electronic lotto Wheel. The total sum of 2,0000.00 (Two Million Euro) has been accredited to your email address file number.
Winners were selected randomly from our list of millions of email addresses around Europe, Asia, some parts of South America to promote computer literacy worldwide as well as to advertise our software and computer products. This promotion was sponsored by a conglomerate of software and computer promotion companies like Intel Group, Toshiba, Dell Computers Apple, and other International software and computers manufacturing Companies.
Your email address number in our file was chosen in the European lottery Coupon network whereby your number came up as one of the lucky winners of our prize money, hence, your price money will be remitted to your choice account, in your country through CITIBANK European Branch.
Your winning details are as follows:
Batch No: 00199009
Email File No:22222x1
Coupon No: ITR3399x1
Amount Won: 2.0000,00 (Two Million Euro)
Full Name :
Contact CITIBANK Italia immediately for verification, processing and transferring of your price money to you in your country. Remember to forward them your winning details for confirmation. Contact Citibank with the below contact info:
Foreign Remittance Department
Citibank Italia s.p.a
TEL: + 39-380-369-5343
Fax + 39-06-9668-8890
Address : Via Franchesco 22 Milano Italy
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of our CEO Mr. Bill Gates, all the 2010 promotion sponsors, we congratulate you on your winning..
Mrs. Manzanita Faro Prof. Tom Southgate
(Publicity Secretary) (On-line Coordinator)