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.
- 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 (Pobox; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Henriques Flavio" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 08:17:10 +0200
Subject: Boys & Girls sweepstakes award notice
4500 Still Creek Dr Burnaby, BC V5C 0E5
Tel: Tel: +27-72-571-4656
Boys & Girls sweepstakes Clubs of Metro Cape Town and Costco Canada are pleased to announce the eighth annual sweepstakes lottery. A limited number of tickets will be sold in Canada and the South Africa and we are given Limited African continent a chance to win as well through a random selection of emails and physical address.
We are pleased to inform you that your email has won 720,000.00USD of Grand Prize of a Multi-Million Boys & Girls sweepstakes Clubs of Metro Cape Town and Costco. An additional 2,750 prizes will be given away throughout the raffle period.
The odds of winning this prize are 1 in 40. Accept our congratulation. Note the following: Ticket number: AO213TG45 Serial number: 6790321Q Batch number: BA2378YEW Winning number: 1- 8-0-3-33.
Make a contact to our processing agent Adv. Larson Rodgers directly on Tel: +27-72-571-4656, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for swift processing and proper guideline.
Note: a sum of $2860.00USD check will be issued and send in your name to help you pay the administrative and transfer charge of your winning. On receipt of the check you will go to your bank and make deposit of the certified check and send it back immediately to enable your payment approve and transfer to your designated account.
Mrs. Henriques Flavio (Remittance Operation Department)
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