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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- "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!
- 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.
- +447031841875 (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: "Mrs. Cherry Benita"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 04:47:36 +0300
Subject: Call +44 7031841875 For The Claim Of Your Funds
COCA-COLA CLEARING HOUSE,
OUR REF: 10667ADB
YOUR REF: 435062725
Address: Government Buildings Motley Rd Leeds West Yorkshire LS16 5PZ United Kingdom.
Complement of the Season!!
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds (GBP 500,000.00) for 2010 Prize promotion which is Offered by Coca-Cola Company of England.
Coca-Cola collects all the e-mail addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo! and Hotmail, Msn, AOL and few from other e-mail providers. Ten people are selected every December and January to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Coca-Cola Prize Award must be claimed no later than 20 days from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.
Stated below are your Identification Numbers:
BATCH NUMBER: 7050470902/189
REFERENCE NUMBER: 442510711.
These Numbers fall within the England Location file, you are requested to contact your Fiduciary Claims Agent in Manchester and send your Winning Identification Numbers to him with the below Application Form.
Agent Name: Mr. Shawn Cole,
Phone: +44 7031841875
You are advised to send the following information to your Claims Agent to facilitate the release of your fund to you at the earliest.
1. Full Names: ......................
2. Gender: ...........................
3. Date of birth: ..................
4. All Contact Address: .........
5. Phone number(s): ............
6. Fax Number(s): ...............
7. Marriage status: ..............
8. Nationality: ...................
9. State/Province: .............
10. Country: ........................
12. E-mail address:
Notice: All expenses of transfer or shipment will be at your own cost whichever way you want your funds to get immediately to you will surely be provided by our service. Our advice is that you get back to this agent and arrange with him on how to get your winnings to you and he will instruct you on how to proceed in getting your funds at your own cost.
CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN! AND KINDLY FILL THE ABOVE FORM AND SEND IT TO YOUR FIDUCIARY CLAIMS AGENT BY E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Service,
Mrs. Cherry Benita
[Coca-Cola Splash Awards]