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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",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!
Fraud email example:
From: "SHELL PETROLEUM COMPANY" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 21:03:05 -0400
Shell Petroleum Development Company Hong Kong
Shell Tower, Kennedy Brown Avenue,
Times Square,Hong Kong/China
BATCH REF: SHHK/008/YY
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of One Million United States Dollars (US$1,000,000.00) for the 2009 International E-mail Draw which is Organized by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
SPDC collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo, Aol, Walla,Gmail, Russian Mail,Hotmail and few from other e-mail providers. 100 people are selected yearly to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners this year by this great Oil company.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Shell Award must be claimed not later than final claim day from date of Draw Notification. Any Prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$1,000, 000, 00 in cash which is the winning present /amount for each winner. This is from the total prize money of US$6,000,000.00 shared among the Winners international winners in this category.
Stated below is your identification number:
REFERENCE NUMBER: SPDC-081511
Please be informed that your CHEQUE,DEBIT CARD, T,T,DRAFT of the sum of US$1,000,000.00 is now with the payee center. Contact your fiduciary agent in China [Dr SIMA LEE] and give them your full detail below so that they will re-insure your winning under your full name and direct you to the bank for payment as your winning numbers fall within the China Mainland Location file
(SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMAPANY AGENT)
Name: DR SIMA LEE (CLAIM AGENT)
TEL; + 852 60635434
He shall immediately commence the process that will facilitate the release of your fund to you.Fill the below form and send to your agent
1. Full name..........................
2. Address ...............
3. Country of origin.......................
6. Phone number.......................
7. Email Address..........................
Congratulations!! once again.
Yours in service,
Dr. SIMA LEE (CLAIM AGENT)
[Shell Publicity Secretary]
SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (SPDC),WE ARE TRULY THE OIL GIANT IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!