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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Fondazion DiVittorio, ITALY" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:53:12 -0400
Subject: THE ITALIA FOUNDATION FOR BASIC RESEARCH (GRANT NOTIFICATION)
Fondazion DiVittorio, ITALY
THE ITALIA FOUNDATION FOR BASIC RESEARCH.
The Italia Foundation for basic research would like to notify you that you have been chosen by the board of trustees as one of the final recipients of a cash Grant/
Donation for your own personal, educational, and business development.The Italia Foundation for basic research was conceived with the objective of human growth,
educational and scientific research, with a mind also for Community development. In conjunction with the ECOWAS,UNO and the EU We are To celebrate the 35th anniversary program, We are giving out a yearly donation of US$ 700,000.00 (Seven hundred thousand United states dollars only) each to 100 lucky recipients. These specific Donations/Grants will be awarded to 100 lucky international recipients worldwide; in different categories for their personal business development and enhancement of their educational plans. This is a yearly program, which is a measure of universal development strategy.
Based on the random selection exercise of internet websites and millions of supermarket cash invoices worldwide, you were selected among the lucky recipients to
receive the award sum of ( $ 700,000.00 ) Seven hundred thousand dollars as charity donations/aid from the Italia Foundation,ECOWAS, EU and the UNO in accordance with the enabling act of Parliament. (Note that all beneficiaries email addresses were selected randomly from over 100,000 internet websites or a shops cash invoice around your area in which you might have purchased something from).You are required to contact the Executive Secretary below, for qualification documentation and processing of your claims. After contacting our office, you will be given your donation pin number,which you will use in collecting the funds. Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (N-222-6647, E-910-56) in all discussions.
Executive Secretary. Mrs. Vera Angelo
NOTE:THE FOLLOWING DETAILS ARE NEEDED FROM YOU AS TO ENABLE YOUR DONATION FUNDS RELEASE !
1. Full Names: 2. Residential Address:
3. Direct Phone No: 4. Fax Number:
5. Email address: 6. Qualification numbers
7. Sex: 8. Nationality:
9. Occupation: 10.Age:
Finally, all funds should be claimed by their respective beneficiaries,no later than 20 days after notification. Failure to do so will mean cancellation of that beneficiary and its donation will then be reserved for next years recipients.On behalf of the Board kindly, accept our warmest congratulations.
Mrs. Lucas Di-Matteo