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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Heerema" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 21:04:02 +0100
Subject: EURO MILLION LOTTERY S.L
This is to notify you that your email address was entered during the annual Euro Milliones Lottery selection Draw and have won the sum of 984.000.00 euros.
Contact below claim officer on e-mail or Telephone for immediate process of your claim; Remember to quote these numbers below for verification by the company.
Ref: No ES/EUR-1302/09.
Batch No EU/0002009-MAD.
You should include Your Name, Address, Age, Occupation, Nationality and Phone numbers.
Dr.Heerema Peter John (Claim Officer)
Tel: +34 634 100 980
Once again congratulations. Your email address has brought to you this expected luck
Mrs.Maria Jose Muyor.
Euro Milliones Lottery