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)
- "toyota fortune lotto" (no such lottery exists)
- "toyota claiming security agency" (no such agent exists)
- "toyota international lotto" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "TOYOTA" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 01:23:38 -0800
TOYOTA INTERNATIONAL LOTTO (HEADQUARTER)
Customer Service Department Affiliate of Toyota Japan .
#28 Kanashiwa road Tokyo JP
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement made today, You are among the winners of the TOYOTA CAR INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from all part of the world as part of our electronic business Promotions Program.
As a result of your visiting various websites we are running the e-business promotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached to ticket number 896-781-6767, with serial number 374-18 drew the lucky numbers 2,5,9,22,31,33, and Bonus number 12 , Your INSURANCE Number: FLD674/ 8936 /GMSA and consequently you won in the Second Category of the TOYOTA FORTUNE LOTTO DRAW.
You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$500, 000, 00 in cash, including a Toyota car which is the winning present /amount for the Second category winners. This is from the total prize money of US$2,650,000.00 shared among the international winners in the Second category.
Please be informed that your FUND of the sum of US$500,000.00 is now with the payee center. Contact your agent and give them your full names so that they will re-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 your claim agent or send email immediately.
DR. CHIN GU
TOYOTA CLAIMING SECURITY AGENCY
TEL +86 13418800271
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your
1. Full name
2. Address / contact number
3. Country of origin
5. Age / Sex
Send above information in your correspondences with your claims agent.
MR. ATSUKO AMAYA