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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 19:06:23 +0700
Subject: YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS WON YOU $4.6M FROM THE UK LOTTO
UK LOTTERY ORGANIZATION
TICKET FREE/ONLINE E-MAIL ADDRESS WINNINGS DEPARTMENT:
If you are the correct owner of this email address,then be glad this day as the result of the UK lotto online e-mail winning draws and sweepstakes held in BANGKOK- THAILAND on the 12th of April,2012 has just been released and we are glad to announce to you that your e-mail address has won you the lottery in the first category and you are entitled to claim the sum of US$4,6M Through Our Correspondent Bank ( HSBC Bank Plc ) Bangkok Thailand.
Your email address was entered for the online draw on this Ticket Number: APP236566301307 and won on this Lucky Number: MX014926583.You are to contact Frank Usmond. on the below email address for quick delivery of your US$4,6M certified cheque.
In order to ascertain you as the rightful receiver of the US$4,6M you are to include the below listed information in your reply mail.
Your country, complete official names, amount won, ticket and lucky numbers, date/venue of draw, address ,contact telephone, mobile and fax numbers, sex, age,occupation and job title.
Office Address: 750 ALI MOHAMMED WAY, BANGKOK 11001,THAILAND.
Contact Agent: Rev. Frank Usmond.
REV FRANK USMOND.
UK LOTTERY ORGANIZATION