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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Walter D. Shiryo" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 03:55:43 +1100
Subject: Congratulations!!! You're our third prize Winner
The Lotto Connect team are delighted to announce you the winner of the third prize Lotto Connect yearly draw sponsored by Microsoft and Norton, winning $100,000 ( One hundred thousand dollars. )
The draw was conducted by a random selection of 10 email addresses from an exclusive list of email addresses of individuals picked by an automated search result of 340,000 email list. Your email address: 'firstname.lastname@example.org' was among the winners of this Lotto Connect for the new year 2017.
This lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators. This is the 2nd edition and we will keep expanding.
You are advised to contact Lotto Conect customer care via email: lotto-connect@ tt-agency.tk for proper guide to help you redeem your winning prize of $100,000. ( One hundred thousand dollars. )
You are strongly advised to keep your winning information confidential until you claim your prize.
Congratulations from the Staffs and Members of Lotto Connect. We wish you and your family a Happy New Year.
Walter D. Shiryo
Executive Director, Lotto Connect.