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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- "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!
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Shell Petroleum Company"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 03:32:15 -0400
Subject: SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY 2010 AWARD.
SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY HONG KONG
SHELL TOWER,KENNEDY BROWN AVENUEK,
TIMES SQUARE,HONG KONG/CHINA.
BATCH REF: SHHK/008/YY
We are pleased to inform you that you have won a prize money of One Million United States Dollars (US$1,000,000.00) in cash, including a BMW car for the 2010 International E-mail Draw which is Organized by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
SPDC collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo, Aol, Walla,Gmail,Russian Mail,Hotmail and few from other e-mail providers. 100 people are selected yearly to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners this year by this great Oil company.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Shell Award must be claimed not later than final claim day from date of Draw Notification. Any Prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$1,000, 000, 00 in cash including a BMW car which is the winning present /amount for each winner. This is from the total prize money of US$6,000,000.00 shared among the international winners in this category.
Stated below is your identification number:
REFERENCE NUMBER: SPDC-081511
Please be informed that your ATM CARD,CHEQUE,DEBIT CARD, T,T,DRAFT of the sum of US$1,000,000.00 is now with the payee center. Contact your fiduciary agent in Philippines [Dr MARKO DONALD] and give them your full detail below so that they will re-insure your winning under your full name and direct you to the bank for payment as your winning numbers fall within the Philippines Mainland Location file,Together with the port where your winning car should be ship to.
Note: payment to make only by ATM card and by bank transfer
(SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY AGENT)
Name: DR MARKO DONALD (CLAIM AGENT)
He shall immediately commence the process that will facilitate the release of your fund to you.Fill the below form and send to your agent,Together with the port where your winning car should be ship to.
1. Full Name.....................
2. Address ......................
3. Country of Origin.............
6. Phone Number................
8. Email Address.................
Note: You are to keep all the lotto information away from the general public especially your batch ref and reference number.(this is important as a case of double claiming will not be entertained)
Congratulations!!! once again.
Yours in service,
[Shell Publicity Secretary]
SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (SPDC),WE ARE TRULY THE OIL GIANT IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!