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.
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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:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "SUPER RUGBY LOTTERY SA ORG" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 11:02:26 +0100
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION
SUPER 15 RUGBY LOTTERY SA ORG
LOTTERY HEADQUARTERS: 3423, CARLTON,
PRETORIA EAST. SOUTH AFRICA
REFERENCE NUMBER: RZA /9606540051/2012/SRL
BATCH NUMBER: SA/2012/RZA
Dear Lucky Winner,
RE: BONUS LOTTERY PROMOTION PRIZE AWARDS WINNING NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to notify you the draw (9473) of the SUPER 15 RUGBY LOTTERY SA, Online Sweepstakes International Lottery Program held on 1st September, 2012. Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from a pool of over 25,000 email addresses drawn from Europe, America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle-East, parts of Africa, and North & South America as part of our international promotions program conducted annually to encourage prospective overseas entries.
The result of our computer draw (#564) selected your email address attached to e-ticket number: 6754323678 with Serial number 5368/12 drew the lucky numbers: 13. 29. 30. 40. 77 (7 Bonus Ball), which subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. match 5 plus bonus. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of $1,500,000 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in cash credited to file SRL/897654329/12.
Your prize award will be insured in your name. To begin your claims therefore, you are advised to expeditiously contact our licensed and accredited claims company Cash4u Ltd. within a period of 21 days (date of this e-mail inclusive).
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our South African representative indicated in your play coupon. In view of this, your $1,500,000 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) would be released to you by any of our payment offices in Africa or Europe.
Please be informed that claims not processed within the stipulated period may be forfeited to the pool without further notice.
Our agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him. You may wish to establish contact via e-mail with the particulars presented below citing the batch and reference numbers to this letter between the hours of 8.00am - 7.30pm on Monday through Saturday.
To claim your cash prize please contact claims Officer Mr. Larry Cox immediately for more information.
Contact Person: Mr. Larry Cox
Our winners are assured of the utmost standards of confidentiality, and press anonymity until the end of proceedings, and beyond where they so desire. Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality until the end of proceedings to circumvent problems associated with fraudulent claims. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Under 18s are automatically disqualified.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!Yours faithfully, Mrs. Faith Fletcher, Network Online Coordinator