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:
- "million united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "FREE-LOTTO AFFILIATED OFFICE U.K" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:33:48 +0800 (CIT)
Subject: YOU HAVE WON $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars)
FROM: GOVERNMENT ACCREDITED LICENSED
FREE-LOTTO AFFILIATED OFFICE U.K,
82 VICTORIA STREET VICTORIA LONDON SW1 U.K
We gladly announce to you the draw of the FREE-LOTTO on-line International
program held this month of April 2010. Your e-mail address was entered as
dependent clients with: Reference Serial Number: F2-003-036 and Batch
number R/45-300-07. Your email address attached to the ticket number:
54-20-17-52-34-30 that draws the lucky winning number, which consequently
won the Daily Jackpot in the first category A for the year 2010.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of $2,000,000.00
(Two Million United State Dollars) in cash credited to file reference
This is from a total cash prize of £17,000,000 million shared amongst the
first Ten (10) lucky winners in this category i.e. Match 5 plus bonus.
To file for your claim,
Please contact our FREE-LOTTO Fiduciary
Mr. Daniel Coleman.
(Free lotto Fiduciary Department)
82 Victoria Street
Victoria London SW1 U.K
Congratulations once more from all members and staff of this program.
Kevin J. Aronin
Chairman & CEO
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