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.
- 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:
- "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.
- +34671489313 (Spain, 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Tamara Lopez" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 04:00:02 +0200
Subject: ELECTRONIC MAIL AWARD
EURO MEGA JACKPORT ESPANA INTERNATIONAL SWEEPSTAKE
UNITED KINGDOM. LONDON/MADRID SPAIN
BANK OF ENGLAND/MICROSOFT HOUSE, LONDON.
DIRECTOR: MR. WALTERS MARTINEZ
REF NO: TMZ-2ZE-798846.
MICRO (LOTTERY) CHIP NO: 3221027
ELECTRONIC MAIL AWARD PROMOTION.
MICROSOFT MEGA JACKPOT EMAIL LOTTERY
UNITED KINGDOM/MADRID SPAIN
RESULTS FOR CATEGORY 'B' DRAWS
Finally today, we announce the winners of the MICROSOFT MEGA JACKPOT EMAIL LOTTO WINNINGS PROGRAMS held on 16th, February 2009. Your company or your personal e-mail address, won in the second lottery category 002.You are therefore been approved for lump sums pay of 1,800,000.00 ONE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS. Equivalent to ($2.37005) Two Million, three Hundred and Seventy Five thousand Five Cent US Dollars. In cash Credited to file REF NO: TMZ-2ZE-798846 and MICRO (LOTTERY) CHIP NO: 3221027, You are the second lucky winner of the total winners of 10.
You all won 1.800.000.00, million Euros each. All the 10 participants were selected through our Microsoft computer ballot system (MCBS) drawn from each continent, as part of International "E-MAIL" Promotions Program, to promote the use of emails all over the World, and to promote the use of Microsoft Office. Your funds (certified Cashiers cheque) have been insured with your REF NO: TMZ-2ZE-798846. To claim your winning prize (1.8,million Euros), you must first, contact the claims department by email for Processing and remittance of your prize money to you. The claims processor is:
Mr. Walters Martinez
Endeavour to quote your Qualification numbers (REF NO: TMZ-2ZE-798846) in all your correspondence with Mr. Walters Martinez Please note that this MICROSOFT MEGA JACKPOT EMAIL LOTTO WINNINGS PROGRAMS are administered by a USA Bank and therefore subject to USA Banking Laws. You are by all means advised to keep this whole information confidential until you have collected your donation, this is to avoid double and unqualified claim, due to beneficiaries informing third parties on cash grant donation. Please furnish with the following informations.
On behalf of the Board, kindly accept our warmest congratulations!!!
Mrs. Tamara Lopez
Online cordinator@Action-Aid, Spain
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