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:
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Singapore Airline" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2016 02:02:36 +0200
Subject: Singapore Airlines
Level 1, Arrival Hall
Passenger Terminal Building 2
The 2016 Singapore Airlines Exclusive Special Bonus program selection has been performed at our Asia Pacific Regional Headquarters here in Changi Airport, Singapore. The 2016 Singapore Airlines Exclusive Special Bonus program is registered and organized in accordance with the Asian Gaming Board (A.G.B.) and the Asia Lottery Regulation Act (A.L.R.A.).
We are therefore pleased to officially notify you of the status of your Winnings, An official notification of Singapore Airlines Exclusive Special Bonus is hereby issued to you as your email ticket number; SGD-0651567 / SGD1, With Serial Number: SGA /01/2QZEK, and Ref No: SGA/019/20107 in batch A /6183 Randomly Drew for the Lucky Numbers 000-31-0584 which selected your email address as a winner of our Exclusive Special Bonus program selection. You have therefore consequently won the 2016 Singapore Airlines Exclusive Special program promo in its first batch.
As regards the above, we have officially approved a sum pay-out of $250,000.00 SGD only to you as our Exclusive Special Bonus winner of the Year 2016, The 2016 Singapore Airlines Program Organising Committee will immediately commence the immediate dispatch of your cheque of $250,000.00 SGD as soon as Possible. To file for claims, you are to reply back my providing your personal details below..
Twee Min Wang
©2016 Singapore Airlines Program Organising Committee (P.O.C.)
On behalf of Singapore Airlines, Asia Pacific Regional.