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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "QUINSSY SEGUROS" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 18:02:50 -0800
Subject: AWARD FINAL NOTIFICATION
ROMANO Nº 19 PLANTA 5.28011.MADRID.SPAIN
FROM: THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPT
REFERENCE FILE N°:ZC/4422- 0034-1188/010/14
BATCH Nº: BUK/410/PT
1st DEC, 2014
AWARD FINAL NOTIFICATION
We are so pleased to inform you, the beneficiary whose name is on this mail about the results of the EUROMILLIONES LOTTERY PROGRAM released on the 21st Nov, 2014. Your name was entered as an alternative number attached to Reference file Number: ZC/4422- 0034-1188/10/14 with Batch Number: BUK/410/PT, which consequently won the lottery in the 3rd category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payment of USD$:3,200.0000.00 ( THREE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND USDOLLARS ONLY ) in cash credited to Security number: ESP/2012/MA This is from a total cash prize of 75,500,000.00 ( SEVENTY FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS ONLY ) Shared among the nine international winners in their respective categories . CONGRATULATIONS !!!
Your fund is now deposited with a finance company insured to its real value in line with the Spanish financial Parliamentary Act: hence the payment should not be reprogrammed nor should any money be deducted from your winning. Due to false practices, we ask that you keep this your award information strictly away from public notice until your claim has been processed and money remitted to you , as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted abuse of this program by unscrupulous individuals . All participants were selected from a computer balloting system drawn from 45,000 names from Asia, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, Middle East, Europe, South and North America, as part of our international promotion program .We hope your lucky name will draw a bigger cash prize in the subsequent programs ahead. You are expected to be in our Portuguese office to claim and sign the fund legalization documents or you may employ the services of your accredited claims agent to a
To begin your lottery claims , please contact your agent- TIM SANTANA ,Foreign Operations Manager, QUINSSY SEGUROS on TEL: 0034-625-712-141 : FAX: 0034-917-692-837, E-mail:email@example.com for the processing and remittance of your prize winning money to a designated bank account of your choice . Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 26th Dec. 2014 after this date unclaimed winning funds will be returned back to the Spanish MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed fund, and late entry penalty requirements must be met before late entry claims can be considered. Be informed that 10% of your lottery winning belongs to QUINSSY SEGUROS S.A because they are the promotion company that bought your ticket and played the lottery on your name , this 10% will be paid to them only after you have received your winning prize. NOTE : In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your Reference and Security File numbers in every correspondence with you
QUINSSY SEGUROS S.A .
DON JUAN PABLO
( VICE PRESIDENT INTERNACIONAL AWARD DEPT. )