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:
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 21:19:00 +0200
UROMILLION BONO LOTTO PROMOTION
PLAZA DE COLON 5, Blk9 E-28830
Attn: Lucky Winner
Your name and your e-mail address included in the lottery coupon, luckly appeared to the winning numbers in the last draw and have won the EuroMillones Google Online Award Spain 2016, through random electronically selected by Spanish Lottery Board
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 935,470.00 (NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EUROS ONLY)
Note: Your winning file REFERENCE Nº: PER/215/ 0018
Contact DR, PABLO MATINS (Claims Agent) the Foreign Affairs manager of
MAPFRE SEGUROS S.A. Tel +34-602-689-369, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurry up to begin your claim with the Claims Agent and he is required to provide your details mentioned below
in order to open up your claim's file in your name and process your claim for immediate payment with the Spanish bank
(1) Full Name
(3) Date of Birth
(5) Tel Nº
(6) Ref Nº
Congratulation once again.
Madam, Julia Gomez