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")
- 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.
- +447031879995 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 Sonia Larry." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 10:59:04 +0530
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED FOR YOUR WON PRIZE CLAIMES.
FORD MOTORS PROMOTION
TICKET NUMBER: 2752246896
BATCH NUMBER : AT-040SB06-03
YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS HAS WON: 250.000.00 GBP (Our grand prize). We wish to congratulate and formally inform you that you have won the sum of 250.000.00 GBP ( Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pounds). in the last email-lottery draw,organized by FORD NEW YEAR PROMOTION.
We have confirmed the above winning.You should note that your email address in addition to millions of company and individual email where extracted with a software and the addresses where scrutinized with a ballot system and after the processes,
30 email addresses where selected and they were shared into 3 categories respectively and which you are a winner in the 1st category of 250.000.GBP ( Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pounds).
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been proceed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and
unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.
To file for your claim you are advise contact your fiduciary claim agent with the following information provided to you.
FIDUCIARY DEPT :
MR. Vonne Nadde
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM
10. Scan Copy of your identity
11. HAVE YOU WON ANY LOTTERY BEFORE? IF YES, STATES HOW MANY TIMES YOU HAVE WON.
Congratulation once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Mrs Sonia Larry.