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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "euromillion loteria" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (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 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.
- +34652677942 (Spain, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MRS. ANNA MARIA)
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 10:40:03 +0000
Subject: Attention: Winner
Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice the result of
Euromillion Loteria Español 2008 promotions.We are happy to
inform you that your email address have emerged a winner of
ONE MILLION ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS (1,100,000.00 Eur).
NOTE: to file for your claim, please contact the claim department below
Contact Person: Sanchez Eduardo.
C/SAN Fernando 22, Planta 1A
28807 Madrid, Spain.
PHONE: +34 652 677 942
FACSIMILE: +34 917 615 191
E-MAIL : email@example.com
Find below your promotion date, Reference and Batch numbers. Remember
to quote these numbers in your correspondence with your claims agent
(Mr. Sanchez Eduardo)
PROMOTION DATE: 5th July, 2008.
REF No: 9590 ES 9414
BATCH No: 573881545-NL/2008
TICKET No: PP 3502 /8707-01
Congratulations once again from all our staff.
THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Copyright 1994-2008 The Euromilliones National Lottery Inc.