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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "claims office" (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 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.
- +31645139114 (Netherlands, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Staats Lotteria" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 02:55:17 +0100
Subject: Staats Loterij
Be informed that your email emerges in the electronic draw made on September, 2009. You have won yourself the sum of 980,000,00 Euro in NL Staats Loterij. To claim your prize, you are advised to contact our claims officer immediately, Adriaan Hans on email: (email@example.com) and file for your claims quoting these references: REF: VDFS/562-5/1017; BATCH: GUX-7708-27-0789; Full winning details will be made known to you upon your confirmation of this mail and filing of your claims.
Adriaan Hans (Mr).
Lottery Processing Dept.
Mrs.Inga van de ser.
Visit our website at: http://www.staatsloterij.nl
Lotto is een onderdeel van De Lotto. Copyright(c) 2007 by De Lotto, the