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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Karl Josef Bergmann" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 19:34:11 +0100
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION
EUROPEAN UNION LOTTERY PROMOTIONS
EUROPE LIAISON OFFICES
PLAZA SAN FRANSICO 102,
28009 MADRID, SPAIN
Audit Control Number: E2A612
I.D. Number 7520 1120 1442
Ref. Number: 660/977/553EU
Batch Number: 325109579CID-E
We hereby announce to you the result of the Draw of the European Union International Lottery Summer Jackpot held in Madrid-Spain. Your name attached to Ticket Number: B5690 38910268 255 with Serial number 82013 drew the Winning: 4/13/21/27/36/38-45, which subsequently won you the Prize Money in the 3rd Category of this Lottery Program selected through a Computer Ballot System. Your name has therefore been approved to claim a total sum of One Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros (1250000.00) credited to file No: EU/9030108308/12. This is from a total cash prize of Two Hundred And Fifty Million Euros (250000000.00) shared among the first 200 lucky Winners in this category.
The program was designed and promoted by Euro-Millions Europe in conjunction with major Companies and International Lottery Promoters. This has been the biggest ever played in the World which aimed at changing the lives of millions of people drawn from the European Database/Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. We hope with part of your winning you will take part in our next year Five Hundred Million Euros Lottery Jackpot which details will be announced soon. To encourage our Company to continue this kind gesture and Customers Privacy, this information must be kept away from public to avoid unnecessary abuse of this noble program or fraudulent acts from criminally minded and unauthorized individuals. To begin your claims, contact Mr. Luis Fernandez; the Agant From Barclays Seguross SL, Tel. Nr.: 0034-602-660-402, Fax Nr.: 0034-917-692-724, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for the processing and remittance of your prize money. Remember to quote your reference number in all correspondence(s).
Finally all Prize Money must be claimed not later than 30th February, 2013. After this date, the entire Prize Money will be returned to the EUROPEAN UNION as excess/unclaimed funds. Furthermore should there be any change of your personal details or address, do inform the accredited officer as soon as possible.
Note: Ten Percent of your prize money must be paid to UNICEF to support their Humanitarian Works and eradication of abject poverty across the Globe. Enclosed is the payment processing form which you should complete and return to the Paying Bank Fax Number where your prize money has been deposited. Fax Nr.: 0034-917-692-635.
Congratulations from the members of staff and thank you for being part of our program.
YOUR FULL NAME:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
FULL ADDRESS: RESIDENT ADDRESS ONLY):___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Winning Numbers:______________________________________________ Ref.Number:________________________________
Karl Josef Bergmann
President, EU Lottery Program