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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "LOTERIA DE NAVIDAD" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 14:56:54 +0200
LOTERIA DE NAVIDAD
CAPITAN HAYA 53
28020, MADRID SPAIN
We wish to congratulate you over your email success in our computer Balloting. This is a Millennium Scientific Electronic Computer Games in which email addresses were used. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 100,000 companies and 50,000,000 individuals email addresses from all over the world. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging internet users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it.
Your email address drew and won the sum of 1.000.000,00Euros (ONE MILLION EUROS) in cash credited to file with REFERENCE NUMBER: ESP/WIN/DS, (53152). BATCH NUMBERS: NAD, (20); SERIAL NUMBER: 45327 which consequently won the lottery in the 2nd category. AND PROMOTION DATE: 21st may, 2010.
NOTE: To consult your winning information go to web:http://loteria.abc.es And put 53152 at NUMERO and 20 at IMPORTE then click COMPROBAR.
To claim your winning prize, you are to contact the appointed agent below as soon as possible for the immediate release of your winning fund with your particulars:
Contact Person: Mr. Wilson Volla (Foreign Operations Manager)
Tel: +34 689 349 170
Fax: +34 917 692 662
DIRECT SECURITY NETWORK
"PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND SECURE YOUR FUTURE"
CALLE SAN JOSE Nº 6, 28008, MADRID. ESPA?A.
TEL: +34 689 349 170, FAX: +34 917 692 662
(COMPLETE THIS FORM AND SEND BACK TO D.S.N)
YOUR REF Nº:
TOTAL PRICE WON..
DATE OF BIRTH:
SEX :( M)
MARITAL STATUS :( M)
I WOULD LIKE TO BE PAID BY (A) BANK TRANSFER (B) CERTIFIED BANK CHEQUE
HEREBY DECLARE THAT I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED ANY PAYMENT ON BEHALF OF DIRECT SECURITY NETWORK. NOR HAVE ANY OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS FILED A CLAIM ON MY BEHALF. I HERE BY AUTHORISE DIRECT SECURITY NETWORK. TO ACT ON MY BEHALF IN THE PROCESSING AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE DESIGNATED BANK INFORMATION AS STATED ABOVE. I ALSO AGREE TO PAY 10% OF MY WINNING TO DIRECT SECURITY NETWORK.ON RECEIPT OF THIS MONEY.
CONGRATULATIONS once again from all our staff.
Mrs Hector Palmira. (Secretary)
LOTTO BOARD COMMISSION.