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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: EURO ONLINE <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 22:31:40 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: EURO AWARD 2006
We happily announce to you the Euro Pride Email lottery draw of the
Lottery International programs held in the UK on 30TH, AUGUST. 2006.
Your e-mail address attached to the lucky winning no numbers below:19,
25, 28, 39, 41, 44, which subsequently won you the lottery bonus
drawa.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of
$2,500,000(Two million and five hundred thousand dollar) .
To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary
agent the legal department email below:
BARR.MORO WILLIAMS,Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To avoid unnecessary delays,please quote your names,country,age, Occupation,sex,when contacting your agent. Congratulations.
Richard K. Lloyd.