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.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 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: "Mike Franciso" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 13:19:49 +0200
Subject: RE: HELLO, GET BACK TO US ASAP...
INTERNATIONAL LOTTO COMMISSION
FROM THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
Phone: (Us)Tel:011 34 634 141 907, (Eu)Tel:001 34 634 141 907
For More viewed winners of our supported Lottery organization news visit below:
ATTENTION: Beneficiary with the REF/BATCH NUMBER;
Ref Ball: 5 : 27 : 31 : 40 : 42 Lucky Star: 1 Lucky Star: 6
AWARD NOTIFICATION / FINAL NOTICE:
We are pleased to inform you today the 17th Sept, 2010 of the results
of the INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD PROMOTIONS held on 20th August,
2010 as part of our year La Primitiva bono program. Your email address
attached to Ref:Ball: 5 : 27 : 31 : 40 : 42 Lucky Star: 1 Lucky Star:
6 , Millionaire Raffle: HWB103972, which consequently won the lottery
on the 1st category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of
915,510,00Euros (NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND
TEN EUROS ONLY) in cash credited to file REF.NO: ES/ILC/125500106/07.
This is from a total cash prize of ? 16.401.529,00 (SIXTHEN MILLION,
FOUR HUNDRED AND ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE EUROS)
shared among the seventeen international winners in this category
To begin your claim, please contact your foreign operator manager MIKE
FRANCISO (MAPFRE SECURITY COMPANY) on address: calle Andreu 14, 28088
Madrid, ESPA?A. (Us)Tel:011 34 634 141 907, (Eu)Tel:001 34 634 141
907, E-mail: email@example.com , for processing and remittance
of your prize money to a designated account of your choice. Remember,
all prize money must be claimed not later than 25th Oct, 2010. After
this date all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y
HACIENDA as unclaimed fund. And also be informed that 10% of your
lottery wining belongs to MAPFRE SECURITY COMPANY, for presenting your
email address to this draw. This 10% will be remitted after you have
received your winning fund into your account, due to insurance placed
on the fund.
NOTE In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complication, please
remember to fill-up your names and address below correspondence with
us or the bank. Furthermore, should there be any change of address, do
inform the security company as soon as possible. Congratulations once
again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of
our promotion program. complete the processing form below and send it
via Fax or Email for more verification and payment.
NAME: MIDDLE NAME:
COUNTRY AND STATE:
TELEPHONE N?: FAX N?:
OCCUPATION: MARITAL STATUS:
PLACE OF BIRTH:
DATE OF BIRTH:
BANK TRANSFER ( ) CERTIFIED CHEQUE ( ) IN PERSON ( )
I MR/MRS.................HERBY DECLARE THAT THE ABOVE DATAS ARE TRUE
.THEREBY AUTHORIZE MAPFRE SECURITY COMPANY TO PROCESS AND REMITTANCE
OF MY PRICE MONEY.
CATALINA ALVAREZ, (IN BEHALF OF): MIKE FRANCISO.
VICE PRESIDENT, LOTTERY AWARD BOARD