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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international lottery programme" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447011140992 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (OXFORD INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY)
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 18:44:35 +0000
32 Hurst Street
We are delighted to inform you of your prize release on the 17th July 2007
from the Oxford International Lottery programme.
Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number
0014821357/BL with serial numbers OXS/7060442302/07/BL and drew the lucky
numbers 14-88-12-99-07-52(40)BL which subsequently won you £1,000.000.00 (One
Million Great Britain Pounds)` as one of the 10 jackpot lucky winners in this
You hereby have been approved a lump sum of 1, 000, 000, 00. GBP in cash
credit to file ref ILP/HW 475/07, all participant were selected through a
computer balloting system drawn from Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses
all over the World as part of our international promotions program which is
Kindly note that you will only be chosen to receive the award once, Take time
and thought in spending the funds wisely on a project that will stand the test
Contact your fiduciary agent to claim your prize via email and telephone:
Dr. Martin Jean.
Tel: +44 701 1140 992
Tel: +44 704 5712 466
Mrs. Carol Gabriel.