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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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:
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:20:08 +0200
Attn: Lucky Winner
FINAL AWARD WINNING PRIZE NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you, the beneficiary whose name is on this letter of notification about the release of the awaited delayed result, of our EuroMillones Promotion Lotto Program held on 10th April, 2016. The results were released on the 12th April 2016. This program was designed to promote and encourage international participats in our high stake (INTERNATIONAL LOTTO COMMISSION) Email names entered in the program were presented by MAPFRE SEGUROS S.A. In conjunction with a group of philanthropist, humanitarian organisations, and also the help of the Internation Marketing Email Leads and and countries high commission in Spain.Using a computer balloting selection system from all Email Addresses sumitted for the program, your email name with ticket number 76494 won in the 3rd category, and was awarded the sum of 1,810.000.00 (ONE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED AND TEN EUROS ONLY), Your security file number for
your winning is File Nu
FILL THE FORM AND FORWARD BY EMAIL FOR PAYMENT
NAME OF BENEFICIARY
DATE OF BIRTH
Winnings must be insured to the original value, to avoid any unexpected situation. The insurance bond certificate should be presented by your agent to our desk, before winning funds will be released to the official bank in Spain for onward transfer to you,after verification proves you are the true beneficiary of winnings under Security File Number: BLCH /2016/0018.
The deadline for this claims is 11th May 2016 After this date, unclaimed winnings will be returned to the Spanish Economic Ministry, and late entry penalty requirements must be met before late entry claims can be considered.Also be informed that 5% (ten percent) of your prize money belongs to MAPFRE SEGUROS S.A. The 5% will be remitted after you have received your winning prize. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and prize tracking numbers in every of your correspondence with your agent,
All correspondence must be directed to your authorized and registered claims agent: MAPFRE SEGUROS S.A
Madam Beatriz Montero
(Vice President Internacional Prize Department