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:
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "australian lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY RESULT" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 15:24:36 +0100 (CET)
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU HAVE WON USD$1,000,000.00
CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU HAVE WON USD$1,000,000.00
FROM THE AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY PROGRAM 2011.
POWERED BY WEB.DE
We are please to inform you today 29th of January 2011,That your email address has won the Sum of $1,000,000.00 USD (One Million U.S. dollars ONLY) from Australian International Lottery Program.To receive this sum,You will Contact the Regional Claims Agent in Nigeria where this year's Lottery was Coordinated along with the below information's:
Regional Claims Agent: Rev. Bako Morgan.
Official Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Contact Line: +2348067357351
Ticket Number:4700172507056490102 & Serial Number 7741134002nd This
Batch Renders Lucky Numbers as follows 5-13-33-37-42 & Bonus Number 17
For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-participants or unofficial personnel.
NOTE: Do not reply to me, but you have to contact
Rev. Bako Morgan.