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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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: "Milagros Belinda" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 02:49:43 +0200
Subject: Loteria Nacional
C/.Capitán Haya, 53
Loteria Nacional Promotional Draw.
We are pleased to inform you of the final announcement that you are one of our first quarter winners of the Loteria Nacional
The selection was made from the list of over 990,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the Internet, no tickets were sold.
The Loteria Nacional 2010 is proudly sponsored by the Telefonica telecommunication, Coca Cola, Nokia, MTN, the Intel Group, Toyota, Toshiba, Dell computers.To Simply encourage the use of Internet and computers.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as one of three winners in the category "A" with the following winning information's: You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of550,000 Euro (Five Hundred and Fifty Euro Only).
REF No: ESMD/File-78229
Information's required from you as part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. To claim your won prize, please contact our Foreign Transfer Manager Mr. ALEJANDRO FELIPA neatly filling the verification and fund release form below.
Payment Processing Form:
NOTE: Please be warned, your winning and its entire information are to be kept strictly confidential, this is to avoid previous bad experience this program has suffered, such as abuse of this program by other Internet user who use the name of this company for unscrupulous activities and double claiming of winning entitlement because of insecurity of winning information on the part of beneficiaries. Always call to ensure you are dealing with the right office.
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of the Spanish Lottery Board Commission.
Loteria Nacional Coordinator: vist our website:http://www.onlae.es