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.
- 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: "YAHOO/ MSN-AWARD LOTTERY PROMO" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 10:59:08 +0200
Subject: DEAR WINNER
WINNING NOTIFICATION DEPT
YAHOO/ MSN-AWARD LOTTERY PROGRAMM
United Kindom, 61-70
United Kingdom WC 1B 4AR.
Your Email Address has been picked online to Yahoo Computer Lottery as a winner of 1.5m pounds. The draws were conducted from an exclusive list of 13lucky emails of individual and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search.
Please Provide Your information in full to facilitate immediate released of your prize.
1. YOUR FULL NAMES:______ _______________________________________
2. POSTAL ADDRESS:_______ ______________________________________
3. PHONE NUMBER:_________ ______________________________________
4. CELL NUMBERS:_________________________________________________
5. EMAIL ADDRESS: ________ _______________________________________
6. SEX:_____ ______________________________________________________
7. AGE:_____ ______________________________________________________
10. COPY OF YOUR DRIVER LIC:_____________________________________
Forward your information to Financial Consultant to proceed ahead to release your winning fund.
Name: Frank Wilson
Note that you have from now till 30th July to claim your prize or else it will roll to next draw which is coming up on November 10th 2012.
Yours In Service,