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:
- 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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims director" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million pounds" (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)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "YAHOO MSN LIVE INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 22:24:44 +0100
Subject: BATCH NUMBER: EM-nf25627
FROM: THE DESK OF THE CLAIMS DIRECTOR,
YAHOO MSN LIVE INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS
32 OLDAM BOULEVARD, PANGBOURNE
BERKSHIRE. RG7 8JH
LONDON. UNITED KINGDOM
TELEFAX: 0044 -870-495-8143
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS DEPARTMENT
REFERENCE NUMBER: UK/069713160512
BATCH NUMBER: EM-nf25627
PRIZE AWARD NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you on the release of the YAHOO/MSN 3rd quarter lottery-promotional program, held on the 10th of June 2011,with Your name attached to ticket number , and reference number
UK/069713160512, drew the lucky numbers of 43-67-99-13-63 which consequently won the lottery in the 1st category. You are therefore approved for a lump sum payout of £1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION
POUNDS; GBP) only in cash accredited to file reference number: UK/069713160512, from a total cash prize of £10,000,000.00 (TEN MILLION POUNDS; GBP) only, Shared among the ten international
winners in this category.
Your fund is now deposited in a security institution with your prize money insured in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we advice that you keep this award from public notice
until your claim has been processed and money remitted to your account as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this program by
participants as it has happened in the past.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot systems, shopping ticket-foils and travelling ticket-foils drawn from 25,000 Company and individual emails from Asia, Australia, New Zealand,
Europe, America, Africa and South America as part of our annual-international promotional program.
To begin your claim, please contact your claims agent/foreign operations manager of payment and release order department,
CONSULE SECURITIES & LOGISTICS
PHONE: +44 755-0718-249
for processing of your winning prize money to designated account of your choice, alternatively via a certified cheque, that can be deposited in your local Bank Or Pick-Up. You are advice to contact
claims agent/foreign operations manager.
Remember all prize money must be claimed not later than 30th of June 2011. After this date, this fund will be returned to the MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND INTERNAL REVENUE as unclaimed fund.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delay and complication, please remember to quote your reference and ticket numbers in every correspondence with your agent or us. Furthermore, should there be
any change of your address, do inform your claim agent as soon as possible. Congratulation once again from all members of our staff and thank you for being part of our International promotional
program. We wish you continued good fortunes.
SECURITY CODE-EM-5475980238-PL (STRICTLY FOR OWNER ONLY)