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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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: THE NATIONAL LOTTERY UK <email@example.com>
Reply-To: THE NATIONAL LOTTERY UK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 23:41:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONGRATULATION! LOTTERY PRIZE WINNERS AWARD NOTIFICATION!!!
Global Poverty Eradication Incorporation
FREE LOTTERY PLAZA,
1 Queen Caroline Street,
London W6 9HQ
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â LOTTERY PRIZE WINNERS AWARD NOTIFICATION!!!
We are delighted to inform you of the result of E-mail address BallotÂ Lottery Draw of the FREE LOTTERY INCORPORATION PROGRAM tagged GlobalÂ Poverty Eradication.
All participants were selected randomly through a computer ballotingÂ system drawn from Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses from Canada,Â Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Oceania andÂ Africa as part of our annual international promo.
This Lottery is being promoted and sponsored by Common WealthÂ Organization, Microsoft Corporation, Coca Cola, Face book, Toshiba asÂ part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the globalÂ communities where they have operational base.
Furthermore your details(e-mail address) falls within our AfricaÂ representative office, as indicated in your play coupon and your prizeÂ of Â£350,000 GBP (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand GBP) will be
released to you from the SPONSORS via their ACCREDITED BANK in AfricaÂ where your prize money is been deposited according to the policyÂ attached to maintain a global mutual relationship.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE:
Contact our Claims Agent - "Mr. Collins Anderson" through his e-mail:(Â email@example.comÂ ) to file for your claim afterÂ completing the Payment Processing Form below correctly.
NOTE: Remember to quote your Reference and Batch Numbers in yourÂ correspondence with our Agent. More so,we advice all our winners toÂ keep their winning information confidential from the public until yourÂ claim is processed and your prize received.
Best Regards.,Mr. Douglas PaxtonCoordinator.
PAYMENT PROCESSING FORM
*BATCH NUMBER: â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
*DATE OF BIRTH:â¦â¦/â¦â¦./â¦â¦â¦MARITAL STATUS:â¦â¦â¦SEX: M / Fâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
***ATTACH A COPY OF YOUR ID, PASSPORT, DRIVING LICENSE OR ANY UTILITYÂ BILL THAT BEARS YOUR NAME***
We assure a SAFE HARBOR (Data Protection and Privacy Laws). The lawÂ would apply to all records, not just to computerized information.Â Penalties for Unauthorized release before personal information wouldÂ be punished.