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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "overseas claims unit" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- +447005983165 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447092886194 (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: "Anand Sancheti" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:24:19 -0500
Subject: Winning Notification For UK Lottery 2007
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to notify you of the draw (1152) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY, Online Sweepstakes International Lottery Program held on 03 October 2007.
Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from a pool of over 25,000,000 Emails of distinguished professionals drawn from Europe, America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle-East, parts of Africa, and North & South America as part of our international promotions programme conducted annually to encourage prospective overseas entries.
We hope with part of your prize awards, you will take part in our subsequent lottery jackpots.
The result of our computer draw (1152) selected your email address attached to e-ticket number: 56475600545 188 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: 15. 25. 29. 35. 39. 40 (Bonus no.11), which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e. match 5 plus bonus. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £2,500,000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) in cash credited to file BNKJ/1740161514/03.
Your prize award has been insured in your name and is ready for claims.
Overseas Claims Unit
United Kingdom Lottery Fiduciary
Contact Person: Robert Kings
Tel: +44 700 598 3165
In line with the governing rules of claim, you are requested to furnish Your Claim Agent With the following information:
1. Full name...........
Do understand that, this is done to ensure that, we are dealing with the rightful Winner in this 2nd category to avoid double claiming by
Note: All further correspondence should be forwarded to your claims officer via this email address: email@example.com