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:
- 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 agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447035961615 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Swiss Lotto Promo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2009 01:22:39 +0600
Subject: Ref Number: PW 9590ES 9414
Your E-mail I:D have won You A Prize Of 1,000.000 Euro Approved by the Swiss
Lotto Promo. Based on random selection exercise of internet websites,millions
of e-mail, worldwide, your e-mail ID. were selected among the 10 lucky winner
to receive the prize of 1,000.000 Euro.as the Swiss Lotto Promo Programme held
on the 4th of June, 2009.
With the following numbers attached
Ref Number: PW 9590ES 9414,
Batch Number: 573881545-NL/2009
Mr. Silva Moreli
Tel: Tel: +44 703-596-1615
You are therefore requested to contact immediately your Claims Agent (Mr. Silva
Moreli) quoting winning information.
FUND RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM.
Full Names:(Surname First)......
Mode Of Payment (A) Bank Transfer (B) Courier Delivery
Once Again Congratulations!!!
Mrs. Stella Bruce.
Swiss Lotto Cordination.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.