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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "TOYOTA LOTTERY 2010" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 17:21:00 +0800
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT
Category A Prize Winner
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the NLF ONLINE
International Lottery programs that entered your email addresses
amongst other addresses for the international lottery programs
conducted by NLF ONLINE.
Your e-mail address attached to ticket number
27511465896-6410 with serial number 3772-510 drew lucky numbers
7-14-88-23-31-45, which consequently won in the 1st category, you have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$ 800,000.00
(Eight hundred thousand United States Dollars) from a total sum of USD
$2,500,000.00 shared amongst the first 5 lucky winners entered in
their category and a Toyota Camry Car 2009 model.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn
from over 20,000 companies and 30,000,000 individuals email addresses
and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes
place every year. This lottery was promoted by some software
corporation to compensate some few individuals with website and email
addresses. After the Microsoft anti-various incident on August 2003.
However, you have automatically qualified to take part in our next
year USD5 million international lottery programs.
To file for your claim now, please contact transglobe trust finance
Agency lottery Agent. Mr. Liew Yee EMAIL:email@example.com
Please provide him with your 6 digit numbers 8, 3, 7, 9, 5, 2 and your
password RRTAz15. You are also advised to provide him with the under
listed information as soon as possible:
1. Name in full:
If you do not contact your claims agent within 7 working days of this
notification, your winnings would be revoked. Winners are advised to
keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid
fraudulent claim (IMPORTANT) pending the transfer/claim by Winner.
congratulations once again!
Mrs Seu Yang