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:
- 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:
- "fudiciary" (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.
- +447031910798 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 01:03:43 +0100
=3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EMicrosoft Award Team =3CBR=3E20 Craven Park=2C Harlesden=
=3CBR=3ELondon NW10=2CUnited Kingdom=2E =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EMicrosoft Award=
Notification =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EYour e-mail address has won you the sum of=
=A3500=2C000=2E00 (Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) from the Micr=
osoft International Lottery=2E For your payment=2C you are required to c=
ontact our fudiciary agent with the below contact details=3A =3CBR=3E=3C=
=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E =3CBR=3ECONTACT PERSON=3A=
Mr=2E Terry Mark =3CBR=3EEmail=3A mrterrymark=40british-gams=2Ecom =3CB=
R=3ETel=3A +44 703 191 0798 =3CBR=3ETel=3A +44 703 198 2976 =3CBR=3E=2E=2E=
=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EPLEASE MAKE SURE=
THAT YOU QUOTE YOUR BELOW WINNING PARTICULARS WHEN CONTACTING YOUR AGEN=
T=3A =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EBatch number=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=
=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E16/12/0011 =3CBR=3ERef number=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=
=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2EMSN-L/212-34441 =3CBR=3EWinning number=2E=
NFORMATION REQUESTED=3A =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3E(a) Your full Name=3A =3CBR=3E(b=
) Contact address=3A =3CBR=3E(c) Your Telephone and fax numbers=3A =3CBR=
=3E(d) Your Age=3A =3CBR=3E(e) Your occupation=3A =3CBR=3E(f) Your count=
ry of origin=3A =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3ERegards=2C =3CBR=3E=3CBR=3EMr=2E Erin Re=
quarth =3CBR=3EOnline Co-ordinator=3CBR=3E=3CBR=3E