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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- " lotto international " (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")
- ",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 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.
- +31619996187 (Netherlands, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 18:39:03 -0200
GOVERNMENT ACCREDITED LICENSED LOTTERY PROMOTERS.
NOTICE FOR CATEGORY \"A\" WINNER
LOTTO INTERNATIONAL NL PROMOTION PRIZE AWARDS WINNING NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws of Lotto International Netherlands programs. The online
cyber lotto draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 25,000 e-mail
Addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an advanced
automated random computer search from the internet. No tickets were sold.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as
one of two winners in the category \"A\" with the following:
Ref Number: PC 607 ES 208
Batch Number: 26371545-LNI/2006SU
Ticket Number: PCP 002 871
You as well as the other winner are therefore to receive a cash prize
of EUR 1,500,000.00.each from the total payout. Your prize award has been
insured with your e-mail address and will be transferred to you upon
meeting our requirements, statutory, verifications, and satisfactory
report. To begin the claims processing of your prize winnings you are
advised to contact our licensed claims agent for category
\"A\"winners with the information below:
Netherlands Lottery International
Amsterdam , the Netherlands
Mrs. Agatha DeBoer,
Lotto International Netherlands