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:
- "claim 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 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: "Frau, Julia Gomez" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 02:10:23 -0700
Subject: Dear Internet User
PLAZA DE CASTRE E-28830,
Ref Number: PLATUK/9GM/327739
Batch Number: PLAT-ENGINE08920
Dear Internet User,
FINAL AWARD NOTIFICATIONS!!!
We congratulate you over your success in the following official publication of results of the E-mail electronic online Sweepstakes organized by Microsoft Google Online Award 2016
Held in Madrid Spain on 18th April 2016.
Your email ID has won the total sum of 1,810.000.00 (ONE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND EUROS ONLY), during the electronic E-mail online Power ball Draws For Internet Users. Microsoft Corporation organize this promotion offer in other to compensate consumers of the product in the world at large for their infinite supports towards the growth of the company.
The claim agent will attend to your claim upon the receipt of your response.
Contact Dr, Pablo Sanchez (Claims Agent) the Foreign Affairs manager of
MAPFRE SEGUROS S.A. Tel +34-603-255-976, Email: email@example.com
To begin your claim with the agent requires your details mentioned below
in order to process your claim for immediate payment with the Spainish bank
(3) Date of Birth
(5) Tel Nº
(6) Ref Nº
Congratulation once again.
Madam, Julia Gomez
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.