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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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:
From: "Mr. David Freder" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 21:07:31 +0700
Subject: Re: Your Winning Update
United States of America,
Free Online E-mail Lottery.
Congratulation to you,
We wish to congratulate and inform you on the selection of cash prize $2,000,000.00 (Dollars) held today July 1st, 2016. The selection process was carried out through random selection in Our computerized Email Selection System (ESS) from a database of email addresses all over the world drawn from which your email were selected and your email address attached to ticket number: 56475600545 188 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: 05, 06, 17, 20, 28, 42, which subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category. For your information, below is your complete winning information:
Ticket number:56475600545 188
Lucky Numbers: 05,06,17,20,28,42
Therefore you have been approved to claim a total sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United States Dollars Only). For due processing and receiving of your winning claim, please contact the FIDUCIARY AGENT, Mr. Alton Shaw, who has been assigned to assist you. You are to contact him with the
following details for the release of your winnings.
Agent Name: Mr. Alton Shaw
Contact him, please provide him with the below following Requirements along with your winning information:
1.Name in full---------------------
If you do not contact the claims agent as stated above within 5 working days of this Notification, your winnings would be revoked. Winners are advised to keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid Fraudulent claim.
*Winner under the age of 18 are automatically disqualified. *Staff of the America Free Online E-mail Lottery are not to partake in this Lottery.
Congratulations once again!
Mr. David Freder
Note that you are not to reply to this E-mail, please contact your claims officer directly to start the processing of your claims application form.