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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SUPERENALOTTO" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 12:03:06 +0200
Subject: WINNER 2011
ADDRESS: VIA EUROPA N274, C.P. 21004 ROME ITALY
FROM: THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPT
REF NO: TUK 8501870209289/ES 877
BATCH NO: TUK 2329317635197437-UQG/2011
DATE: 28th August 2011
ATTN: LUCKY WINNER,
LOTTERY AWARD FINAL NOTIFICATION,
We are pleased to inform you of the release today, the results of the SUPERENALOTTO ITALIAN SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY/ INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM held on 15th of August. Due to mixed up of some numbers and names and email addresses, the results were released on the 26th of August 2011 The Italian Superenalotto Lottery draws was conducted from an exclusive list of all participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 791,000 email addresses from USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, and Europe as part of our international email program,
which we conduct once every year. No tickets were sold.
Ticket Nr: TUK 86485217482148972 97427.
Batch Nr: TUK 2329317635197437-UQG/2011.
Security File Nr: IGS/SL2006656003/11
Ref Nr: TUK 8501870209289/ES 877.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 1,500,000.00 EUR. (ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS) in cash credited to file REF.NO: IGS/SL2006656003/11.This is from a total cash prize of 15,000,000.00 EUR. (FIFTEEN MILLION EUROS) shared among the ten international winners in this category.
Your fund is now deposited in a FINANCE HOUSE insured in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your nominated account, as this is a part of our Security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this program by none participants.
For processing your claim and remittance of your prize money to a designated account of your choice, please contact your claims agent officer below.
Dr. ALBERTO MACINI.
(Lottery Claims & Foreign Operations Manager)
Remember all prize money must be claimed not later than 9th of September 2011. after this date all funds will be returned to the MINISTRY OF FINANCE as unclaimed.
NOTE: Procedures to claiming your prize:
1. Please it is very important to quote your Reference number in all correspondence with the claims officer.
2. Indicate your Full Name, Address, Country, Telephone, Mobile, Fax Number, Occupation and Age.
Furthermore, should there be any change of your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our promotion program.
LAURA MALDINI (PRESIDENT ITALIAN SUPERENALOTTO)