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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Email Lotto Promo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2016 01:21:41 -0500
Subject: HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE .-.
- This mail is in HTML. Some elements may be ommited in plain text. -
This is to notify you that your email address was entered during the Monthly Email Lotto Promo in Conjunction with Euro million Selection draw held on
January 8th 2016 and Your Email Address hit the Random selection Number: 8-45-16-31-11, JOKER: 1*9 E-ticket Number: 87698765 And have won the sum of ?815,950.00 EUROS (Eight Hundred & Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred & Fifty Euros) HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!!
Simply contact our lottery Agent with the following particulars which are attached to your payment order:
REF NO: LOP/WIN/1108/01/013/MA
BATCH NO: EURO/4007/888/116/15.
LUCKY e-TICKET PIN CODE: SBC/40/87698765.
And provide him with the following details:
1.Your full name
2.Your direct telephone & fax number
3.Your current Address
Pl. Alqueria Nova 17
Mr. Benjamin Hooks
Tel: +34 634 031 280
Fax: +34 917 692 656