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:
- "consignment " (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 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: "TELE2 PROMO." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2011 19.45.57 +0100
Int. Claims Dept.
Your Reference No:LPN-F/Q1665
Your Batch No:2010-13/1119/MIC.COP
We are pleased to inform you about the release of the long awaited results of Sweepstakes promotion organized by Tele2.nl/Microsoft, in conjunction with the
foundation for the promotion of software products, (F.P.S.) held this month of January,2011 in The Netherlands where your email address emerged as one of the online
Winning emails in the 3rd category and therefore attracted a cash award of 550,000.00 (Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros) and a Dell laptop.
To begin your claim, do file for the release of your winning by contacting our Foreign Transfer Manager/Funds Supervisor:
Adolf Van Dijk(Mr),
INFORMATION NEEDED FROM YOU TO SEND YOUR LAPTOP AND TO ISSUE YOUR CHEQUE ON YOUR FULL NAME AND CONTACT ADDRESS!!
YOUR FULL NAME:
WINNER EMAIL ADDRESS:
As soon as you send the information to us by Email,this will enable us start your Verification Procedure from
our Office here in Europe Amsterdam the Netherlands .However once the verification is done all the necessary
documents that are required for you to receive your laptop and Cash Cheque in your country will be file along
with your winning CHEQUE PARCEL CONSIGNMENT via COURIER to your contact address you will provide.
Please,endeavour to send these required information via fax as well. If you would like your funds to be deposited
on your bank account,we advise that you inform us so that we provide you with further detailed requirements towards the transfer option.
The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by former CEO/Chairman and a consortium of software promotion companies.
The Intel Group, Toshiba, Dell Computers and other International Companies. The Microsoft internet E-mail draw is held periodically
and is organized to encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer literacy worldwide. You are also required to send copy of your International
Passport/Driver's licence via email scanned attachment for proper verification.
(Group Co-ordinator EEA region.)