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:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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!
- 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: "Notification Dept" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 15:28:33 +0200
Subject: ***Notification Email****
This is to inform you of the release of the LA VERDE LOTTERY PROMOTIONS held on the 29th of June 2012, as part of our yearly lottery bonanza. Your Email attached to a ticket number 01-6076 with above stated reference number and batch number, drew the lucky numbers: 4-22-9-24-41-20 and won the lottery in the 3rd category. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
You have therefore won the sum of 615,810.00 (Six Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten Euros only) in cash. This is from a total cash prize of 17,573,912.64 (Seventeen Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twelve Euros and Sixty-Four Cents) shared among the international winners in this Category. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system, drawn from Emails from Australia, Asia, Middle East, Africa, North and South America and Europe, as part of our yearly International Promotions, which is conducted twice a year. The biannual promotion is so far responsible for changing the lives of many people around the globe.
Attached to this Email is the winning details and a FORM which you have to complete and send back through FAX or Email attachment.Contact your claims officer with the below stated information for more details
CASA VERDE SEGUROS, S.A
Don. ANTONIO MANUEL ALFONSO
Tel: +34 652 864 867