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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- world gsm ref nš: eli/0013/070 batch nš: 11/19070/141/tmg firstname.lastname@example.org attn: lucky winner prommotion award notification/ final (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "SIR W. JR" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 02:27:03 +0100
Subject: congratulation award notification notice
FROM THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRICE AWARD
DEPT. MASTER CARD/ MICROSOFT/ WORLD GSM
REF Nº: ELI/0013/070
BATCH Nº: 11/19070/141/TMG
ATTN: LUCKY WINNER
PROMMOTION AWARD NOTIFICATION/ FINAL NOTICE
We are pleased to announce the result of the UROMILLONES INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM held on the 20th OCT 2009 ,In Espanal due to mix up of numbers and names, the results were finally released on the 24th of DEC 2009 Among the 129 participating finalist playing 60.000 full ticket in the third series, from a pool of 5,600,000.00 (Five Million Six Hundred Thousand Euro), your Email name attached to ticket number 5-51-07014056 with Serial number EG05C03 drew the lucky numbers 07-18-26-27-31-34. This consequently won the lottery prize in that category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 715,810.00 (SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TEN EUROS) in cash credited to file REF No: ELI/0013/078. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Our credit department has recently notified me that over the past one month there was no Winner/Release Order Form submitted, Due to the failed efforts to communicate with you or your Agency taking care of your ticket/winning. Re!
member that the validity of the pr
S. L .Email email@example.com In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference numbers in every correspondence with your agent. Furthermore, should there be any change of your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible. Congratulations once again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our promotions program. You are strongly advised to keep your prize-winning notice confidential until your claim has been confirmed. This will be our final notice. Yours truly, Don Antonio Pera Gacia .NB: 1.All claims are nullified after 21 working days from today. 2. Your Ref number must be in all your mails with the claims officer. 3. Do inform the claims officer of any change of names or addresses. 4. Please do not reply to this email. Contact your claims agent. _______________________________________________________________________ The INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT, SPAIN. Is proudly !
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