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: "Microsoft End Of Year Bonanzer" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 22:03:25 -0800
Subject: OFFICAL WINNING NOTIFICATION
YOUR REFERENCE NO:MSFT-L/200-26937
YOUR BATCH NO:#2277
OFFICIAL WINNING NOTIFICATION.
We are pleased to inform you of the release of the long awaited results of End of Year Bonanzer promotion organized by Microsoft, in conjunction with the foundation for the promotion of software products,(F.P.S..)held this November 2011, in Spain. Where your email address emerged as one of the online Winning emails in the 2nd category and therefore attracted a cash award of 250,000.00 (Two 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 via email:
Mr. Celino Ramses
The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by our CEO/Chairman, Bill Gates 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.
Mrs. Maria Alanjedro