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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "japan international lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: "COMPANY OFFICIAL AWARD PRIZE NOTIFICATION" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:13:12 +0800
Subject: COMPANY OFFICIAL AWARD PRIZE NOTIFICATION
THE TOYOTA MOTORS COMPANY PROMOTION
DEPT TOYOTA AVENUE
65 EXCHANGE ROAD,ORTIGAS BUILDING
TOYOTA COMPANY OFFICIAL PRIZE NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws held (2010) End of Year Award by Toyota Motor Company in conjunction with the Japan International Lottery Worldwide Promotion, your email was among the 40 Lucky winners who won $1, million United State Dollars each on the Toyota Company Promotion dated as stated above.This is from the total price of $40, million United State Dollars shared among the 40 lucky winners. including a Toyota camry car you are therefore approved for a lump payment of $1, million United State Dollars
However the results were released Today and your email attached to ticket number (7PWYZ2006) and ballot number (BT:12052006/20). The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet. However, no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy.
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.
This Lottery is approved by the Japanese Gaming Board and also Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).This lottery is the 3rd of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public.
As indicated by the computerized selection machine,your lucky winning number falls within our Asia booklet representative office in THE PEOPLE REPUBLIC OF CHINA as showed in the coupon.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential your claim is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program.
In other to claim your $1, million prize winning,which has been deposited in a designated bank.
However,you will have to fill the form below and send it to the promotion manager of THE TOYOTA MOTOR COMPANY for verification and then you will be directed to the bank where a cheque of $1, million has already been deposited in your favour.
Please you are adviced to complete the form and send it immediately to our Promotion manager through email for prompt collection of your fund
(CONTACT PROMOTION MANAGER)
Name: Mr Pedro Lee
Tel: 86 13129872454
Foreign Services Manager,
Toyota Motor Corporations China,
You are to keep all the lotto information away from the general public
especially your ticket number and ballot number.(this is important as a case of double claiming will not be entertained)
Staff of Toyota Motor Company and the Japanese International Lottery Company are not to partake in this Lottery.
Accept my hearty congratulations once again!
DR ANDY WAY
(VICE PRESIDENT FINANCE)