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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "euromillion loteria" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Cecelia Alfonso" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 23:30:38 -0700
Subject: Qualification No: EU/6747/MI
CALLE LAS ROZAS
OFFICIAL WINNING NOTIFICATION.
We happily announce to you the draw of EuroMillion Loteria Sweepstakes Promotion program organized by
EuroMillion Loteria in conjunction with the foundation for the Promotion of software products, September
8th, 2010,in Spain-Madrid.
Your email address emerged as one of the on-line Winning emails, and therefore You have been approved
for a cash award 500,000.00(FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS) this is from a total cash prize of FIVE
MILLION EUROS Shared among the ten International winners, Your winning details stated below:
Reference No: EU/54797/MI
Batch No: EU/G001/MI
Qualification No: EU/6747/MI
To begin your claim contact our Accredited agent.
Mr. Alex Pedro.
This Loteria is approved by the Spanish Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of
Gaming Regulators (IAGR) All winnings must be claimed not later than seven working day there after all
unclaimed funds would be included in the next stake.
NOTE: This Email Lottery is sponsored by EuroMillion the members of Spanish MSFT Word Resource
Consortium Software Promotion Companies, and is organized to encourage the use of the Internet users and
to promote computer literacy world wide.
Mrs. Cecelia Alfonso
EuroMillion Loteria Coordinator.