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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "foreign service manager" (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.
- 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: "LOT.NACIONAL AGENCIA TRIBUTARIO" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 18:30:07 +0100
FROM: THE DESK OF THE VICE CHAIRMAN.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRICE AWARD
Romano nº 19 Planta 5
28011 Madrid, Spain.
ATT:BENEFICIARY/ Ref Nº.ESP/1052020
This is to inform you of the release of the LOTERIA NACIONAL PROMOTIONS PROGRAM held on the 22nd December, 2020. Your name attached to ticket/ Batch number 53152 with Reference number ESP/11052020 drew the lucky numbers 07-15-25-31-34-46, which consequently won the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved of a lump sum payment of 1.250.000.00.(One Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros Only)
This is from a total cash prize of 180,796,000.00 shared among the local and international winners in all categories). CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Your fund is now deposited with the BANK, and insured in your name with insurance number: ESP/1900433/2020. Due to false practices, we ask that you keep your award information strictly away from public notice, until your claim has been processed and money remitted to your possession as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted abuse of this program by unscrupulous individuals. All participants were selected through visible tickets and computer ballot system drawn from (MILLIONS) of names from Asia, America, Africa, Europe, and South Pacific, as part of our International promotion program. We hope your lucky name and email will draw a bigger cash prize in the subsequent programs ahead.
To begin your lottery claims, please contact your claims agent MR. RICHARD DA SILVA, THE FOREIGN SERVICE MANAGER of OCASO SEGUROS, S.L. On Tel Nº +34-632-647-554, and Email: email@example.com, for the processing and remittance of your prize winning money to a designated choice of yours.
Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 16th Febuary ,2021. Any claim not made before this date will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed fund. And also be informed that 10% of your Winning belongs to EXCEL SEGUROS, S.L for acting on your behalf on receipt of this money.
NOTE: Three (3) certificates are to be issued to you by the local government tax authority, national lottery board and the ministry of finance, to back up your winning.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every correspondence with your agent company.
Furthermore, should there be any change of address, do inform your claims agency company as soon as possible. The original copy of your award letter has been forwarded to your agent company for security purposes. Fill the form below and return back to us as soon as possible.
A copy of your identification (passport/driving license
Congratulations once again
Dr. Lisa Antonio F. Castillo
(Vice Chairman, Internacional Prize Department)
DO NOT REPLY TO THE SENDER. ALL REPLY SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO (firstname.lastname@example.org)