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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "part of our security protocols" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Nicole Osypka" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 09:45:21 -0700
Subject: Lottery Guild
EUROPEAN LOTTERY GUILD
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/ PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
Avanade Francesca Campo 21
Barcelona, 08003 Cataluña, Spain
REFERENCE NUMBER: UL11/65456009/NHM
WINNING AWARD NOTIFICATION,
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement of winners of the INTERNATIONAL / BONO PROGRAM, co-organized with World Tourism Organization / Spanish Ministerial de Tourism.
The official list of winners was published today on 23rd of July 2012. Your e-mail was attached to the los number: 000442002 and the serial number: 2113-09 registered with lucky numbers 10-16-25-41-46, won in the second category.
We are informing you of your wining of 935, 470.00 (NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY EUROS.)This is from a total cash prize of. 25,257,690,00. The sum was divided by 27 winners from the same category.
The winning is deposited with a security company and insured in your name. To avoid complications in the settlement of the payment to you, we ask you to keep this official notice discreet until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your account as this is part of our security protocols to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this programs by participants.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system
drawn form 5,000 company names and 100,000 emails from all countries of the European Union as part of our international promotion program Which we host once a year.
Please complete the tables below and send to Management of BAY SEGUROS S.A, by fax or e-mail.
Mail:(email@example.com, Fax:+0034 672 553 496, Tel:+0034 917 692 730)
2. NACH NAME:____________________________PLZ____________
5. DATE OF BIRTH:________________________________________
Please remember that every winning claim has until the 30th August 2012 be logged in. Anyone not registered after this date will lose the right to this winning, which will go back to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA Please also remember that 10% of this winning must be paid to the security company BAY SEGUROS S.A . The 10% must be paid upon receipt of the winning because the winning is insured in your name.
The above requirements are necessary.
European Lottery Guild