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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: FACE BOOK / YAHOO MESSENGER CHAT WORLDWIDE AWARDS CENTER <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 01:16:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Congratulations from Face book / Yahoo Messenger Chat Award
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â FACE BOOK / YAHOO MESSENGER CHAT WORLDWIDE AWARDS CENTERÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â FACE BOOK SIX YEARS ANNIVERSARY PROMOTIONS FOR 2011Â Ref: FB/968/09Batch: 409978EFace book / Yahoo Messenger Chat Executive! Prize Results, You won GBPÂ£820,000.00! Facebook! Mail congratulates you! Face book! / Yahoo Messenger! Company announces you as one of the 10 lucky winners in the ongoing face book emails prize draw for the year 2011.Â All 10 winning email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000.000 international Emails each from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania. As part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently, you have been approved for a total pay out of GBPÂ£820,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Twenty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) OnlyÂ This face book and yahoo messenger chat promotion 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.Â Further more your details (E-mail address) falls within our British representative office in United Kingdom, as indicated in your email box and your prize money of Â GBPÂ£820,000.00 Equivalent to ($1,308,883.99 Â USD) will be released to You through our corresponding assign payment bank.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZEÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Contact Face book / Yahoo messenger chat agent for notice of claims.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Contact Fiduciary Agent: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dr.Mrs.Josephine FitzpatrickÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Face book / Yahoo Messenger Chat Award Services Center (U.K)Â Youâre instructed to send the completed
verification form detailâs below to our agent in the United Â Kingdom whose email address is given below so that you will be advised on what to do to get your prize Money through our corresponding payment bank here in England (United Kingdom). Â Â Â Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, Â email@example.comTEL :( +44)-703 174 3516 FAX :( +44)-844 774 1185Â Â FULL NAME: --------DATE OF BIRTH: ----MARITAL STATUS----OCCUPATION: ----HOME ADDRESS-----ZIP CODE: -------COUNTRY: --- NATIONALITY: ----CELL NO----TEL: NO------FAX: NO------- Â Â Â Â Â For security reasons, we advice you as one of a winner to keep your winning information confidential from the Public until your claim is proceed and your prize money remitted to your designated bank account of your choice. This is part of our Face book / Yahoo messenger chat online security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-selected winner or
unofficial personnel.Â Yours Sincerely,Â Rev. William Gerri (PHD) FACE BOOK Co-coordinator England.The Face Book / Yahoo Messenger Chat Staff.For inquiry} do contact this email address here: firstname.lastname@example.orgFace book Price Results!Tel: Â +44-703 174 6689Fax: +44- 844 774 1480Email: email@example.com