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.
- 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")
- 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: Fri, 3 Jun 2016 02:33:38 -0700
Subject: EUROMILLION LOTTO AWARD SPAIN
PLAZA DE CASTRE, 20 E-28830,
Email : email@example.com
Attn: Lucky Winner,
FINAL AWARD NOTIFICATIONS!!!
This is to inform you on the release of the EUROMILLONES LOTTERY PROGRAM held on the 27th of May 2016. Due to mix up of some numbers and emails, the results were released on the 30th of May 2016.
Your email attached to ticket number 214-1781-501 with serial number 7216-05 drew the lucky numbers of 2637-61-79-63-45 which consequently won the lottery in the 3rd category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 1,810.000.00 (ONE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND TEN THOUSAND EUROS ONLY),
Your fund is now on a security deposited with a bank and insured with your email serial number 7216-05. Due to mix up of some numbers and emails , we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed and money remitted to your account as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this program by participants.
To begin your lottery claim, please contact your claims agent Dr, Pablo Sanchez the Foreign operations manager of REAL SEGUROS S. A. On Tel: +34-603-255-976, Email : realseguros@mailcom, For the processing and remittance of your winning prize money to a designation of your choice.
Remember, all price money must be claimed not later than, 30th June, 2016. After this date all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed. And also be informed that 5 % of your Lottery Winning belongs to REAL SEGUROS S. A. Because they are your claims agent. This 5 % will be remitted after you have received your winnings because the money is insured.
To begin your claim with the agent requires your details mentioned below
Name ______________________________Address ___________________________
Date of Birth ___________________________ Occupation ______________________
Telephone Nº ______________________ Email serial Nº ______________________
Congratulation once again.
Madam, Julia Gomez