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:
- 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:
- "claim agent" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024078274 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Global Trust <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 15:04:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: You Won GBP1,250,000.00 Global Trust Congratulates You!
Global Trust Lottery Award Promotion
Tower 42, Level 35 25 Old Broad Street
EC2N 1HQ DX 557 London
You Won GB£1,250,000.00 Global Trust Congratulates
This is to bring to your notice that you have been chosen as the lucky winner
in the ongoing Global Trust Lottery Award Promotion for the month of October
2010 held yesterday and result released today. All active email addresses were
selected through Automated Internet E-Mail Ballot System. Your E-mail address was attached to ticket number 667-87641257 with serial
number 3134/1198 drew lucky
numbers 7-14-18-31-45, which consequently
won in the 2ND category. You are hereby-approved lump sum payment value
This is part of our global financial
assistance for humanitarian development.
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning
information confidential until your claim is fully processed and your money
remit to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid multiple claims
and unwarranted abuse of this program by un-favored participants. However, no
tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket
numbers for representation and privacy. All e-mail participants were selected
through our Windows
Live Ballot System drawn from over
20,000 company e-mails and 30,000,000 individual email addresses and names from
all over the world.
To claim prize contact: -
Name: Dr. Harry Lewis
Chief Claim Agent
Telephone: +44 702 407 8274
Reference number: 4365/87NL
Ticket number: 667-87641257
Serial number: 3134/1198
Amount Won: GB£1,250,000.00 for the month of October 2010.
1. Full names:
2. Phone number:
3. Fax number:
Remember, all winning must be claimed on or before three weeks from the date of
this publication. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited
and returned to its source as unclaimed. Please note in order to avoid
unnecessary delays and complications, remember to quote your reference number
and batch numbers in all correspondence.
Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our appointed
Agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being
part of our promotional program.
Global Trust Award Promotion
Tower 42, Level 35 25 Old Broad Street,
EC2N 1HQ DX: 557 London,
NOTE: This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a
conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the
citizens in the communities where they have operational base.