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:
- 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.
- 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: "AtmMasterCard / Mega Promotion" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 15:47:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Ticket No.:ATM-2011-lotto
Your Winning Info:
Batch No: 014/2011
Dear Lucky Winner,
Congratulations as we bring to your notice today 29th, The Office of the
senate house of Assembly and committee has chosen you by the board of
trustees as one of the final recipients of this 2011 new year promotion
To celebrate the 30th anniversary celebration,We are giving out a yearly
donation of The ATM Master Card Value is $6.8 million USD to 4 lucky
recipients,as New Year promotion from the W.H.O,UN, and the EU in
accordance with the enabling act of Parliament. Fill out below information
and send it to the Payment Remittance Office Via their email contact
Winning Batch No:W-342-8876,U-500-32)