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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- 1, c/san bernardo 45. 28004, madrid. españa. e-mail…… firstname.lastname@example.org we are pleased to inform you of the release of results for (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Aroyo Cruz" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2021 07:06:30 +0100
Plaza De La Provincia 1, C/San Bernardo 45.
28004, Madrid. EspaÃ±a.
We are pleased to inform you of the release of results for the EUROMILLONES
SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY/INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM held on the 29th January 2021. The
results were released on the 30th January 2021.
Your name attached to ticket number 031-1127-841 with serial number 3214-20
drew the lucky numbers of 09-22-37-39-41-49-19-2 which consequently won in
the 3rd category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump payout of â¬1.200, 000, 00 (ONE
MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS ONLY) in cash credited to file REF NÂº:
EZ/CH/7721458/21. This is from a total cash prize of â¬14,900.000 (FOURTEEN
MILLION, NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND, EUROS) shared among the twelve
international winners in the third category. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
Your fund is now deposited with a security company insured in your name.
Due to mixed up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award
from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money
remitted to your nominated account, as this is a part of our security
protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this
program by participants. All participants were selected through a computer
ballot system drawn from 25,000 names from America, Asia, Africa, Europe,
Canada and New Zealand as part of our international promotion program. We
hope with a part of your prize, you will participate in our end of year
high stake of â¬1.8 billion international lottery.
To begin your claim, please contact your claim agent, RAMON DINO BLANCO
Foreign Operations Manager, SKY ORIGIN SECURITY COMPANY S.L on TELL/FAX:
+34 645 7397 18 Email: *firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>*
for processing and remittance of your prize money to a designated bank
account of your choice. Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later
than 26th February 2021. After this date all funds will be returned to the
MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed. Also, for your information,
10% of your money belongs to your claim agent as a part of their
commission. This commission will be paid to SKY ORIGIN SECURITY COMPANY
S.L. only after you have received your fund in your designated account.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please
remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every of your
correspondence with us or your agent. Congratulations once again from all
members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our promotion
Dr. Aroyo Cruz. (Vice President.)