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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "toyota car international promotion program" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims 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)
- ",500,000" (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 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: keset haim <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 17:58:40 +0800
Subject: YOU HAVE WON OUR PRIZE
TOYOTA INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY (HEADQUARTERS)
Customer Service Department No.28 Kanashiwa road Tokyo Japan.
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement made today.
You are among thewinners of the TOYOTA CAR INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM. Participants wereselected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addressesof individuals and companies from all part of the world as part of ourelectronic business Promotions Program.
As a result of your visiting various websites we are running the e-businesspromotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached to ticket number719-266-1319, with serial number 902-66 drew the lucky numbers05,12,30,11,17,43 and Bonus number 10, Your INSURANCE Number: FLs433/ 453L/GMSA and consequently you won in the Second Category of the TOYOTA FORTUNELOTTO DRAW.
You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$1,000,000.00(One Million United States Dollars) in cash, including a Toyota car which is thewinning present /amount for the Second category winners.
This is from the totalprize money of US$2,650,000.00 shared among the international winners in theSecond category. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Please be informed that your winning numbers falls into the Asia payment zonewith office in china and your fund of the sum of US$1,000,000.00 is now with thepayee center.
Contact your agent and give them your full names so that they willre-insure your winning under your full names. Together with the port where your winning car should be ship to. To begin your claim, please call or send an email immediately to your claims agent / online consultant:
Dr. Lumei Cho,
Foreign Services Manager,
No. 179 An Jia Lou Road,
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, Please quote your:
1. Full name:
2. Address / contact number
TOYOTA INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY (HEADQUARTERS)