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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",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)
- "you are advice to " (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.
- +31616937593 (Netherlands, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "MARKT INTERNATIONAL" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2008 02:55:27 +1000
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS FROM MARKT LOTTERY HOBBEMAPLEIN:100
MARKT LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL.
Attn: Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you that you have emerged a winner in the annual
draw of our MARKT Lottery International Programs. Your email address was
selected by our Electronic Random Selection System (ERSS) from an exclusive
list of 250,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies
generated from an internet resource database.No tickets were sold.
Your email address is identified with Batch Number: 444821545-NL/2007 and
Ticket Number: PP 3812 /2007-07 in Category "A" and your claims portfolio is
filed with Ref Number:MARKT 80 ES 9414.You are therefore to receive a cash
prize of $2,500,000.00. (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars) from the total payout
Your prize award has been insured under a bonded depository policy with
your e-mail address, and will be transferred to you upon meeting the claims
requirements, statutory obligations, verifications, validations and
To file for the processing of your prize sum payment, you are advised to
contact our Certified and Accredited claims agent for category "A" winners
with the information below:
Name: Mr. Tony Ivan
Tel:+31 61 693 7593
You are advice to provide him with the following information:
NOTE: All winnings must be claimed not later than 14 days, thereafter
unclaimed funds would be included in the next stake. Remember to quote your
reference information in all correspondence.