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:
- 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 director" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "EUROPEAN PRIZE AWARD DEPT" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 08:42:37 +0100 (BST)
Subject: ****YOUR EMAIL WON(2 MILLION DOLLARS)****
Dear esteemed recipient,
You have to confirm your win by sending an email with your full
name,Address,Mobile phone number and your winning code.You have been
selected due to the fact that you have sent more than 3 txts/email
messages in 2months.
Endeavour to Call +393291895768 and ask for Mr.Marco Ferera (Claims
Director) to confirm your Two Million United States Dollar win.
Quote code: 09PAD when calling to your claims director.
Or when sending an email response,send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an opportunity you cannot afford to missout on.Get back to us Now!!!
Enalotto Award Team.