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 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: FACEBOOK LOTTO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: FACEBOOK LOTTO <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:59:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ATTN:CONGRATULATION YOU WON.
Â ATTN:CONGRATULATION YOU WON.
Â We happily announce to you the result of electronic email Address ballot system of Glo International Face-book draw held annually. We wish to inform you that your email address in imesh/Face-book have been picked as a winner ofÂ $250,000.00USD. Your winning code are as followed, Ref: code (NJ-45/BYR3-98/93KN-W2) Batch No (BV376T/GF-3W2/MK84).
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by FACEBOOK AND conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of our social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where we have operational base. No tickets were sold to any individual but all email addresses were assigned to different Ref: codeÂ and Batch No. for representation and privacy.
Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 30th of receiving this notification. Any claim not made by his date will be returned toÂ TREASURY ACCOUNT. And also be informed that 10% of your lottery winning belongs to (THE PROMOTIONS COMPANY). Because they are the company that bought your ticket and played the lottery in your name.
Your fund is now deposited with our Bank/Security Company and insured in your name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed, and your winning Payment have being sent to you or remitted to your account, as this is part of our security protocol, to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking of advantage of this program by participants, as has happened in the past.
you are advised to contact the Claim Auditor in our South Africa regional, where your winning balloting numbers fall for payment, Via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) TEL (+27746718407). Contact him with the following information:
Â Full name:
Â Country and address:
Â Batch No:
Â Amount won:
Â Fax/Phone no:
Â Occupation:Â Â Â
Â Age:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â Email Address:
Â Yours Sincerely,
Â Mrs.Janet Lewis
Â Executive Co-ordinator