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.
- 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: IRISH PROMO <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 02:49:18 +0200
Subject: Success Alert
IRISH NATIONAL LOTTERY
11 G Lower Dorset Street,
Dublin 1, Ireland.
Dear Lucky Winner,
Confirmation Reference Number: 78-45-2-12-47-66-4
Reply E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You have won 1,500.000.00 Euro (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Euro) in the
Irish Millions E-mail Sweepstakes Lottery, held on the 16th of July 2010. In
Dublin, Ireland. Please contact the agency (Mezra Finance Ltd) for
Contact person: Welch Webber (Sir)
Tel: +353 (0)868843177
Fax: +353 (0)818 901728
Underneath are your Winning Information's:
Email Ticket Number 15-21-4-19-27-44
Reference Number: 78-45-2-12-47-66-4
Draw Lucky Number:8-17-10-13-37/*5*7
Batch Number: JKPN44521412
Serial Number: HMML235524453
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
5. Phone Number:
Note, all winning must be claim not later than July 30th, 2010.
Mrs. Kimberly G Renvill.