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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "part of our security protocols" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- 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: "Mr. John Musgrave" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 12:37:23 +0530
Subject: Reminder: New lottery winning message alert
FROM WORLD WIDE INTERNET LOTTERY
REFERENCE NUMBER: PLP11289
BATCH NUMBER: UKPLP/008181/11
TICKET NUMBER: 06-08-20-29-34-36, BONUS: 43
WINNER NUMBER: 1
(Google Data Base Dept.)
We are pleased to inform you that your emails address has been selected for a cash prize offer as registered member of Internet E-mail User .You have subsequently won the sum of One Hundred Thousand Pounds (100, 000 .00 Pound) from the World Wide Internet Lotto Individuals/Companies Emails promotion released August 01, 2011, click here to view all the winning result: http://www.lotterypost.com/results/uk .
There are 1,584 UK National Lotto 6/49 drawings since November 19, 1994.
All participants were selected from worldwide website through our Microsoft computer ballot System drawn from 21,000 names, 3,000 names, include email addresses entered in this program were presented also by our international marketing department in conjunction with world residential white pages, humanitarian organizations, and the help of Embassies and chambers of commerce of countries in Europe, Australia, North and South America, the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as part of our international "Email promotions program ,which we conducted annually for prominent MS-Word users all over the World, and to encourage the use of the Internet and alleviate poverty worldwide.
Also your agent must apply for the Award/Deposit Certificate and forward to our corresponding bank to enable them confirms and activates your transfer immediately.
As part of our security protocols you are to quote this security code ESPM/M/0011#PLP099 REFERENCE NUMBER: PLP11289 BATCH NUMBER: UKPLP/008181/11 WINNING TICKET NUMBER: 6-8-20-29-34-36 SERIAL 43, to your claiming agent.
Regarding the process to transfer your prize, kindly contact your below mention claim agent immediately with bellow information
You are now advised to forward your full details below to your agent for your payment:
Full Names Surname/First:
Winning Security code:
HAVE YOU A PASSPORT OR LICENCE: ............. (For Identification)
(OPTIONAL) BANK TRANSFER DETAILS: ........................
Payment Central Agent:
Dr. William Cruz
ATOCHA SEGUROS S. A (SPAIN)
Tel: +34 672 860 163
Endeavour; do mail/fax the agency your full details as your winning information.
If you do not contact your claims (AGENT) within 72hours of this notification, your winning could revoke.
Winners are advised to keep their winning information secret to avoid fraudulent claim IMPORTANT pending the transfer/claim by winner.
Congratulations Once again!!!
Mr. John Musgrave
THIS FUND IS NOT AT LIBERTY TO MAKE ANY DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR WINNING FUND BECAUSE YOUR WINNING PRIZE HAS BEEN INSURED AND UNDER THE INSURANCE POLICY AND RULES GUIDING THIS PROMOTION, YOU ARE TO BE PAID THE FULL AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU WON WITHOUT ANY DEDUCTIONS.