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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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.
- +31642937603 (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: "DE NEDERLANDS LOTTO" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 16:03:48 +0200
Subject: RE: ***CONGRATULATIONS***
DE NEDERLANDS LOTTO,
LAAN VAN HOORNWIJCK 55,
2289 DG RIJSWIJK, NEDERLANDS.
You have been awarded 1,000,000.00 Euro in DE NEDERLANDS LOTTO email lottery in which e-mail addresses are picked randomly by Software powered by the internet through the World Wide Web.
Your email address was among those chosen this year for the DE NEDERLANDS LOTTO. And this program is proudly sponsored by some eminent personality and the owner of the largest software company in the Nederlands.
Your email address, attached to Ticket Numbers 009-273-1798/IOA with Reference Numbers NIL- FAI/8201/9817, Batch Numbers AEOA/7412-35 and Serial Numbers 11509272 3 drew the lucky Numbers 12-17-01-11-27-35-302, and consequently won the lottery in the first Category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 1,000,000.00 Euro.
Please note that your lucky number falls within our European representative office in Europe. In View of this, your 1,000,000.00 Euros will be released to you by our accredited claims agent in Europe. Our European claims agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your winning prize as soon as you contact them.
All participants were selected randomly from the World Wide Web through a computer draw system and extracted from over 900,000,000 companies and individual email addresses.
This promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning details confidential till your claims is processed and your winning prize remitted to you in whatever means you wish to receive your winning prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements.
To file for your claim, please contact our/your accredited claims agent:
Note that all winning prize must be claimed not later than August 31, 2009. After this date all unclaimed winning prize will be included in the next stake. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications always remember to quote your reference number, batch numbers, ticket number, lucky number and serial number in all correspondence with our/your claims accredited agent.
Be informed that if there should be any change of your address, do inform our/your accredited claims agent as soon as possible congratulations once again from our members of staff and thanks again for being part of our promotional program this 2009.
Important information: If you are below 18 years of age, you are automatically disqualified. Please do not reply to this mail. Contact our/your accredited claims agent immediately for remittance of your lottery winning prize.
Fran De Jong