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:
- 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:
- "foreign service manager" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " COCA COLA COMPANY PROMOTION" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 20:22:17 +0530
Subject: YOUR E-MAIL ACCOUNT HAS WON(GBP1,000,000.00 Pounds) ON COCA COLA COMPANY PROMOTION E-MAIL DRAW(2012?
Dear Lucky Winner,
This is to inform you that your E-mail have won a prize money of GBP 1,000,000.00 Pounds(One million Great British pounds) for the Yearly Coca-Cola Company Lottery promotion United Kingdom which is organized by Coca-Cola in conjunction with Chevron Texaco Oil and Gas Company, Your Email Address" were selected through a computer ballot system draw from Nine hundred thousand email from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceanic as part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually, we have only selected 30 people as our winners, through electronic ballot System without the winner applying.
These are your identification numbers:
Ticket Number: 011425896/2012
Serial Number: 3872/506
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM
1. Full name:
3. Sex :
5. Home Telephone:
6 Mobile Numbers:
To file for your claim, please fill and submit your verification form to our
Foreign Service manager immediately
Via email : email@example.com
Dr. Steve Mark.
Foreign Service Manager
Coca-Cola Lottery (Pty) Ltd.
I want to Congratulate You In Advance and Please Do Not Forget to Help the Poor In the Society When Coca-Cola Makes You a Beneficiary Of their World Of Wealth.
Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!
Dr. Steve Mark,
For the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Coca-Cola Lottery Company