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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "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.
- +447024020869 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "SHELL INTERNATIONAL GRANT AWARD" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 04:57:29 +0800 (MYT)
Subject: 1 NEW NOTIFICATION!!!
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL,UK.
(SHELL INTERNATIONAL GRANT)
This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the Board
of trustees of SHELL as one of the final recipients of a Cash
Grant for your own personal and business development.
SHELL a Multi-Million company was establish not only for profit
oriented,but with the objective of Human Growth,Educational and
Community development worldwide.
SHELL UK in conjuction with United Nations
Organization(UNO) and the European Union(EU),is giving out a yearly
donation of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million USD) as Grants to 50 lucky
international recipients worldwide for their personal and business
development.As this is a yearly program which is a measure of
universal development strategy,and eradication of poverty.
The Grants was based on the random selection exercise of E-mail
addresses on internet websites and millions of Super market cash
invoices worldwide, where your E-mail address emerged as one of
the lucky recipients to receive the award sum of $2,000,000.00
(Two Million USD).
Please kindly note that you are not the only beneficiary this year,
as beneficiaries have been chosen from countries and all continents.
Note that you will only be choosen once to receive the Grant.
You are required to Contact the Executive Secretary below for
proper guide on how to make your claims. Please endeavor to quote
your Qualification numbers (N-222-6747,E-900-56) in all dealings.
SHELL INTERNATIONAL GRANT AWARD.
GRANT FUND PAYOUT OFFICE.
HOUSE 13,SHELL TRUSTEES ESTATE
274Ban bury Road, Oxford OX2
MR Terry Woodgate
Furthermore, below is a copy of Verification Form, you are fill
when contacting the Executive Secretary.
PAYMENT VERIFICATION FORM
1. FULL NAMES:..............
5. MARITAL STATUS:..........
7. E-MAIL ADDRESS:..........
8. TELEPHONE NUMBER:........
9. NEXT OF KIN:.............
Finally,you are hereby advised to keep this whole information
confidential as cases of double claim will not be entertained.
On behalf of the Board kindly accept our warmest congratulations.
Mrs. Monica Dickson
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