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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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!
- 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: "Mrs. Generosa Erichsen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2010 17:15:16 +0200
Subject: Your Lottery Prize
Euromillion Lottery Board Inc.
The Online department hereby alert you that your email address won EUR400,000.00 Euros and an Apple 15" Mac Book Pro Notebook laptop in an International Award Prize promotion held on 13th of May 2010.for claim of award prize contact. File your claim at the promotion department as stated below with your ref number:
Name: Mr.Manuel Borreria.
Tel: +34 634 105 921
Official Email: email@example.com
Batch Nr: 530 Ticket Nr: 133 Ref Nr: PL-507
You must be claimed your prize not later than 10th June 2010
Mrs. Generosa Erichsen
N/B. Please do send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.Mails to email@example.com will be unattended.