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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Wendy Jaroslawski" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 01:42:16 -0800
We wish to notify you that You email address was automatically generated and selected during APOLLO 11. ASTRONAUTS 48TH ANNIVERSARY: Space Gala salutes the future HELD JULY 15TH 2017,
You EMAIL have won $1,000,000.00 dollars in the ongoing ASTRONAUTS readings world-wide by phone, Skype, email, MP3 promo hold in United State with a winning Reference number NASA/AS/407/PROMO/2017
You have therefore been approved to claim a Star Prize of $1,000,000,00 dollars Five hundred thousand United State Dollars in cash credited to Reference No: NASA/AS/407/PROMO/2017. The award money is payable through Certified bank draft only from any of our paying banks.
To claim your winning prize,quote your details and Reference number as stated below for payment processing / Immediate Release of your fund.
1. Full names:
7. Reference No:
8. Your ID, either copies of your international passport or national ID card that bear your names on it.
Congratulations'' once again from all our Staff and thank you for being part of our Promotions Program
(Coordinator/ Online Publicity).
Copyright?2017 ASTRONAUTS readings world-wide Network Online Program.
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this information, you are notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email communication in error, you are instructed to send a reply message indicating that you have received the message in error and delete any and all copies of the message and any data attached thereto from your computer, any storage media, and any backup storage media, including all temporary storage files and "trash" or "recycle" bins.