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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "toyota lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (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)
- 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.
- +447031925961 (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: "TOYOTA COMPANY LTD" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:01:09 -0700
Subject: Cash prize of £10,0000,000.00.
TOYOTA LOTTERY PROMOTION DEPARTMENT
25 Bridge Street ,Staines Middlesex
TW10 8TP United Kingdom.
This is to inform you that have been selected for a Cash prize of £10,0000,000.00.(Ten Million Great British Pounds) and a brand new Toyota Prius car International programs held 2012 in London Uk.
You can view our website to view your car
Description Of New Toyota Car to be Shipped to you.
Miles:New.......................Doors:4 doors or more
Engine:4 - Cylinder....................Year:2012
Condition:New.....................Engine: 1.9L DOHC MPFI VVT-i
16-valve 4-cylinder engine w/integ
CD Player.........................Side Airbags
Passenger Airbag..................Driver Airbag
Anti-Lock Brakes..................Air Conditioning
Power Windows.....................Power Locks
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection system(ess) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.This Toyota car Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).This promotional car lottery is the tenth of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public.
To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact your claims officer through our accredited Prize Transfer agents as stated below:
Mr. Kelly White
25 Bridge Street ,Staines Middlesex
TW10 8TP United Kingdom
Phone Number: +44 703 192 5961
When contacting him, please provide him with your secret pin code Y7448500 and your reference number 799BV90.You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as soon as possible:
1.Name in full :
If you do not contact your claims agent within 7 working days of this notification,your winnings would be revoked.Winners are advised to keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid fraudulent claim (IMPORTANT) pending the transfer/claim by Winner.
Accept my hearty congratulations once again!
Mrs. Maria Lee