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:
- 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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Anthony Dave" <PCH.@peace.ocn.ne.jp >
Reply-To: "Dr.Anthony Dave" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2019 22:30:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: PCH Lotto: Notification Alert!!!
PCH Lotto: Notification Alert!!!
Dear email owner
Your email address was selected as a winner of $3.500.000.00 in the recent Publishers Clearing House Sweepstake Email Lottery Draw held in Nigeria. The PCH department of contest, has approved the check of $3.5million which will be processed by SKYNET WORLDWIDE EXPRESS SERVICE along with other vital documents. You should be expected to pay a delivery fee $200 for their service rendered or rather visit their office with the CLAIMS CODE NUMBERS that was sent to your email box as proof of selected winner.
NOTE: Our aim is to select winners from the internet, since you$B!G(Bre the original proprietor of the email box in which you$B!G(Bve received the winning notification alert and have access to the selected email address. Remember the winner identity is not known by PCH prior to the Email Lotto Draw. The department of contest maintains eligibility requirements, so we implore you to update us on new development related to your winning information, in the case of change of names and/or contact details.
To commence the necessary requirement to receive your winning prize, please contact the courier company via email;
SKYNET WORLDWIDE EXPRESS SERVICE
REPRESENTATIVE: Jeam Rickson
Tel: +1 (347)954-0182
with your contact details in the following format;
Your Full Names:
Your Full Address:
Your Current Tel No:
Your current Email Address:
CLAIMS CODE No: CC-2381CA-SN
We congratulate you officially and inform you that your winning prize information should be strictly confidential which implies, no unauthorized access by any third parties.