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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Euro Millions" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 16:03:41 -0000
Subject: EMAIL NEWS!
Euro Milliones Lotteria.
Calle Gran Vía, 20
28013 Madrid, Spain
EURO MILLIONES AWARD LOTTERY
We happily announce to you the draw of the Euro Millions Lottery Fund International Programs held on the 21st of January 2012 in Madrid-Spain . Your email address attached to ticket number: 1456 with serial Number: 5555/05 drew the lucky number 2-19-33-37-46 )+ Star(5-8 which subsequently won you the lottery in the first category. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of $1,200,000.00 (One Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in cash credited to file wlp/23456/11. This is from a total cash prize of US$30,000, 000.00 Million , shared amongst the first twenty (30) lucky winners in this category.
In view of this, your US$ 1,200,000.00 (One Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) would be released to you by our Redemption Centres in Europe. Our agents will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
All participants were selected randomly from World wide Website through computer ballot system extracted from over 1,000,000.00 companies and individuals. This promotion takes place annually for security reasons you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be warned.
To file your claims, please contact our agent:
Dr.Luis Euginio (Authorize Agent)
Note: that all winning must be claimed not later than 12 days of receiving this notification. After this date all unclaimed, funds will be included in the next promo, and to avoid unnecessary delay and complications, please quote your reference/batch numbers in any correspondences with us or our designated agent.
Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this program!!! Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Mrs. Helena Perez,
Public Relations Officer.