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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",000,000" (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: "Herr Juan Pedro Gomez" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:47:02 -0400
Subject: RE: WINNING LOTTERY NOTIFICATION
RE: WINNING LOTTERY NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the release of the EUROMILLIONS LOTTO result held on the 15th March 2015. Your name and email was attached to your File Serial Number: MM-71070/1389KY consequently won the lottery in the 2nd category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 950,000.00 (Nine Hundred And Fifty Thousand Euro Only) in cash credited to Millionaire Raffle: ZFG479495. This is from a total cash prize of 10,000,000.00 (TEN MILLION EURO ONLY) shared among international winners in this category. Your fund is now deposited into the INTERNATIONAL LOTTO COMMISSION account insured in your name. All participants were selected through a computer ballot drawn from 25.000.000 names from Europe, Asia and America as part of our international promotions program which we conduct once every year.
To begin your claim, please contact your claims agent, MR. ROBERT PALMER , of BANESCO SEGUROS .S.A. TEL:+34 611 221 435, FAX:+34 917 692 828 Email: INFOROBERTPALMER@GMAIL.COM for processing and remittance of your prize money. Remember that all prize money must be claimed not later than 20th April 2015. After this date, all funds will be returned to the Ministerio De Economia y Hacienda as unclaimed.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference numbers in every of your correspondence with your agent. Furthermore, should there be any change of address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible. Kindly Find attached a copy of your winning notification letter and copy of claim verification form, fill it and fax to BANESCO SEGUROS .S.A. On FAX: +34 917 692 828 for the processing and claiming of the above winning.
Euro Lottery Commission Board Espana.