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:
- 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.
- 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.
- +447045735777 (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: "Ms. Alicia Molten" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 02:50:17 +0000
Subject: YOU HAVE WON !!!
©2012.Coca-Cola Great Britain1 Queen Caroline StreetHammersmithLondonW6 9HQUnited Kingdom. Attn: Winner You have won the sum of £750,000.00 (Great British Pounds) from The Coca-Cola Company UK©,I wish to announce you as one of the 2nd lucky winners in our WORLD WIDE WEB PROMOTIONAL OLYMPIC BONANZA sweepstakes draw held on 18-05-2012 .Your email address emerged along side 2 others as a 2nd category winner in this year's Annual Online Promotion Draw. My Coke Rewards provides lots of little ways to put a smile on your face, every time you drink a Coca-Cola product. As the leading consumer packaged goods loyalty marketing program in the U.S., we have over 14 million members who have received more than 18 million rewards from leading companies.Requirements:1. Name:2. Address:3. Age:4. Sex:5. Occupation:6. Telephone Number:7. Country of Residence: Kindly Contact:Mr. Michael BrandTEL: WE CALL YOU. +44 7045735777EMAIL: email@example.com(Monday - Friday 09:00 - 17:00) Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality untilthe end of proceedings to circumvent problems associated with fraudulentclaims.This is a part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claimingand unwarranted abuse of this program CONGRATULATIONS!!!Yours faithfullyMs. Alicia MoltenOnline Sweepstakes Coordinator©Copyright 2012