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.
- 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")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "COCA COLA COMPANY UK" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2011 12:42:53 +0200
Subject: YOU WON 500.000.00 BRITISH POUNDS B
COCA COLA COMPANY OFFICIAL PRIZE NOTIFICATION Ref: PBL/CN/6654/CP. Coupon No.PBL2348974321
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws held on the 30th Of June 2011 by Coca-Cola company in conjunction with the British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion.
Your email was among the 4 Lucky winners who won a lump sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND BRITISH POUNDS STERLINGS (500,000.000 ) each on THE COCA COLA COMPANY PROMOTIONS.
However the results were released on the 9th of July 2011 and your email was attached to ticket number (CC/7PWYZ2010) and ballot number (CC/BT:12052010/20) The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031 E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet,
However, no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy. The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world This Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).
in order to claim your prize contact our fiduciary agent Lottery Claims Officer:
MR. William Smith,
(Provide him with the information below:
8.Country Of Residence:
10.a copy of your id or paspport
Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this program. Congratulations once again On Behalf of the staff And Members Of the COCA COLA COMPANIES and therefore advised you to keep your winning information confidential and restrict from third Party to avoid double or false claims of your winning