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:
- "national lottery promotion" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. jesica Rodrigues perez" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 00:10:59 +0200
Subject: CLAIM YOUR PRIZE
INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY & betting EUROMILLIONS
FROM THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
28035, MADRID, SPAIN
OUR REF Nº: ILPPAD/84013-1789
RE: PRIZE AWARD/FINAL NOTICE
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today the 7th of Sep,
2011 you are a winner of the EUROMILLIONS INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
PROMOTION PROGRAM. Entry 0722/2011 attached to your name draw 53,
the lucky winning numbers INTER LOTTERY 13550-1789 and as a result you
won in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved for a lump Sum
Payment of 725,960,00 SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND
NINE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EUROS.
To claim your prize, contact our foreign operation manager AT
SANTA MARIA SEGUROS, S.A
Contact Person: Luis Alberto
Note: Remember to quote your claim winning information's
to your claim agent. WINNING INFORMATION'S ARE FOLLOW BELOW
Ref Number: 07122/27403 M/ES
LUCKY NO: 35-42-47-48-50
Batch Number: 60521/32795/PW
Please note: All winnings prize must be claimed not later than
29th of sep. 2011, any claim not made before this day, will be
returned to the MINISTERIO DE HACIENDA. Congratulations!!!
Mrs. jesica Rodrigues perez