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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Mr.Pedro Lucas " <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2021 08:10:13 -0800
Subject: ATTENTION: LUCKY WINNER,
FINAL AWARD NOTIFICATION
ATTENTION: LUCKY WINNER,
We are delighted to inform you of the EURO MILLIONS INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY 2021 DRAW held on January 27th 2021. We try to reach you again on this same email once more, as our previous notification to you returned undelivered.
Your email attached to the ticket number 025-11-464-992-700 drew the lucky numbers 4-13-21-27-36-45 Bonus Ball 45, which consequently won the lottery in the 3rd category. Therefore, you have been approved for a lump Sum Pay of â¬4,500,000.00 (FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS) in Cash Credited to Claim File NO: ESTW/202145450032. This is from a Total Cash Prize of â¬256,756.420.00 shared among International winners in this Category.
This program was designed and promoted by the European Union collaboration of United States Government, United Nations, The World Bank including other International Lottery donors institute as palliative to the world.
This has been one of the biggest ever played in the world which aimed at changing the lives of millions of people. To enable us proceed with your claims this information must be kept away from the public to avoid unwarranted abuse of the program or fraudulent claims by unauthorized person(s).
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from Europe, America, Australia, Asia, Middle East, North and South America as part of our International promotions program. We hope that with a part of your prize you will take part in our next high-stake EUROS 3.3 BILLION INTERNATIONAL
To begin the process of your claim, please contact DR. ROSA MARTINS the Foreign Service Manager Remittance officer of CAIXA FINANCIAL SERVICES on TEL: +34-611-255-965. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Lines open Monday to Friday 9AM to 10PM, Saturday 9AM TO 6PM (GMT) for the processing and remittance of your Winnings.
Remember to quote your claim file numbers in all correspondence.
Be advised that you MUST be present in Madrid Spain to pick up your winning cheque or you may pay the diplomatic home delivery fee for your cheque to be delivered to you at your doorstep in any part of the world or an international wire transfer.
Pedro Lucas .
The World Lottery.
S.L. C\ San Vicente 44 Madrid (spain ) 28944.