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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- +447024094558 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +2348073958109 (Nigeria, 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: "Microsoft AOL Email Lottery Notification" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 21:22:00 -0200
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!!=?ISO-8859-1?Q?_=A9_2009_Microsoft_?=Email Lottery Notification
>From The Desk of
Mr. Vicent Chandler
Public Relations Officer
It is our pleasure to inform you on our successfully organized Sweepstakes which was organized this year 2009
anniversary and we rolled out over US$ 525,989,087 for the yearly Anniversary Draws, which participants for the draws
were randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which we enjoy their patronage.
The selection was made through a computer draw system attaching personalized email addresses to ticket numbers .
Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies & in effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remain the
most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test and your email address as indicated was
drawn and attached to reference and ticket numbers 234-807-395-8109 with serial numbers AOL/MICROSOFT/1276-009 and
drew the lucky numbers 07-26-33-09-07-22 (88) which subsequently won you £ 900,000 ( Nine Hundred Thousand British
Pounds) as one of the jackpot winner in this draw. This draw was conducted in Liverpool, UK on the 16th of September,
Please be informed by this winning notification to file your claims immediately. You are advised to make contact to
your referred agent who shall by duty guide you through the process to facilitate the release of your winning prize. To
file for this claims, Please Contact your referred agent with your verification information as required on the form
below, beginning the claims of your winnings funds as conducted by the lottery company.
Note: You have Two (2) weeks from the date of this publication to claim your prize or you may forfeit your winnings.
Thank you for being part of our commemorative New year Anniversary Draws.
Find below your referred agent contact information and the verification form:
Address: 26 High Street Starbeck Harrogate North Yorkshire, England HG2 7HY
Referred Agent : Mr . Paul Chadwick
Tel: +44-702 409 4558
Country of Origin.......................
Place of Residence......................
Winning Email ID........................
NOTE: DUE TO THE PRESENT ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE WORLD AND FRAUDSTERS AS WELL, YOUR WINNING FUNDS WILL BE MADE READY
TO YOUR HOME ACCOUNT BY THE ASSIGNED TRANSFERRING BANK WHICH HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE AUTHORITY BY MICROSOFT AOL LOTTERY TO
EFFECT TRANSFER TO WINNERS HOME BANK ACCOUNT UNDER 48 HOURS.
Mr. Vicent Chandler
Public Relations Officer
© 2009 Microsoft Corporation
Lottery Board Director:
™ It takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the information in this email is accurate. However, the company gives no
warranty, whether express or implied, regarding the content of this email, nor do we accept liability for any loss or
damage which may result from your receipt of this message. Any decision made by an individual based on information in
this email is the responsibility of that individual alone. You have to note that the only person that have the right to
represent you in your claim is your appointed Agent only.
Copyright © 1998-2009 The MICROSOFT™ Inc.
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