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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "PINTO" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 11:38:14 +0200
Subject: EURO MILLION SWEEPSTAKES
EURO MILLION SWEEPSTAKES
AVD.JUAN REAL 25 C.P 28002
REFERENCE NO: 94-42-1-57-33-88-5
BATCH NUMBER: RYSP22541233
CONGRATS WE HAVE CONTACTED PREVIOUSLY WITHOUT RESPONSE.
PLEASE BE INFORMED, YOU ARE THE LUCKY WINNER OF 3,000,000.00 EUROS
IN OUR EURO MILLION MONTHLY ONLINE AWARD BONANZA AND ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED THROUGH A COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN FROM 520,000 EMAILS FROM ASIA, EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, AFRICA, NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA.
BELOW ARE YOUR WINNING INFORMATION'S:
EMAIL TICKET NUMBER 12-21-45-19-27-91
REFERENCE NUMBER: 94-42-1-57-33-88-5
DRAW LUCKY NUMBER: 5-17-12-17-33/*5*8
BATCH NUMBER: RYSP22541233
SERIAL NUMBER: POS336976270Y
PLEASE DO ENDEAVOUR TO SEND YOUR
FULL NAME, ADD, AGE, OCCUPATION, TEL&FAX
TO ENABLE US FILE IN YOUR NAME FOR PAYMENT
THROUGH YOUR CLAIMS AGENT
DON HANGAN WALTER
PHONE: +34 634 055 828
FAX: 0034 917 69 3000
SEND YOUR DATA FOR MORE DETAILS.
CHOOSE YOUR CLAIMS OPTION.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE ATTACHED CLAIM FORM BELOW AND SEND VIA FAX TO US)
DATE OF BIRTH:___________________ OCCUPATION:_________________________________________
NEXT OF KIN:___________________________________________________________________________
MRS ISABELLA PINTO