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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Ugwu Ngozi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:04:11 -0000
Subject: CONFIRM YOUR PRIZE!!!
CONFIRM YOUR PRIZE!!!
This email is to notify you that you have won an Award Sum of 979,650:00 Euros
in Euro million
email lottery held on the 10/12/2014.
Please contact the Payment Director with your winning info: REF NUM. (No:
NUM. (HOL04-R591/XB301) WINING NUM.(NJP8182-131Y),Ticket Number:
Number SPL (501/0267)
Kindly send the following to the below contact for easy identification/timely
1. Full Name:
2. Direct phone:
3. Date of Birth / Age:
5. Current Address (P.o Box not acceptable)
Contact Name:Paul Peter
The Euro million email lottery is lawfully sponsored by the Microsoft
Corporation and is
registered and protected by the Benelux trademark law.
Please note that the validity period is subject to the very first contact to
the payment director.