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: "EUROMILLION ONLINE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 18:47:08 -0700
Subject: OFFIZIELLE GEWINNBENACHRITIGUNG
Die EuroMillions LOTTERY PROMOTION
VON SITZ DES PRASIDENTEN
Die EuroMillions LOTTERY PROMOTION-GEWINNZUTE ILUNG
Sehr Geehrte Gewinn
Wir sind verpflichtet, Ihnen mitteilen zu können das Ergebnis der gerechten abgeschlossen monatliche end gültig zieht der Die EuroMillions LOTTERY PROMOTION und Ihre e-Mail unter den glücklichen Le weitere Informationen bezüglich Ihres Gewinns
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
HEAD, ONLINE LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
Der Euro Millions LOTTERY PROMOTION
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