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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- "global mega lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- "uk national lottery inc." (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- 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 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: adam smith <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 06:27:46 +0000
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS: CONGRATULATIONS: CONGRATULATIONS: CONGRATULATIONS:
GLOBAL MEGA LOTTERY (PTY) LONDON.
>From Mr.Adam Smith
Global Mega Lottery (Pty) London.
Headquarters: No: 11 Vits Street Opp
Customer Service: 580 NCA 85914
We happily announce to you the computer draw of the Global Mega Lottery (Pty)
International programs held on the 21/07/2009 in United Kingdom.Your e-mail
address attached to ticket number: 100-309-7482 with! Serial number 513-10 drew
the winning: 2,9,22,23,24,30,+5, which subsequently won you the lottery in the
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$1,950,000.00
(One Million Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) in cash
credited to file KPC/9080118308/02.This is from a total cash prize of US
$13,650,000.00 Million dollars, shared amongst the Seven luckywinners in the
second category world-wide. Please note that your lucky winning number falls
within our Afro booklet representative office in Africa as indicated in your
play coupon. In view of this, your US$1,950,000.00 (One Million Nine Hundred and
Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) would be released to you by First National
Bank South Africa.
Our African agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the
release of your funds as soon as you contact him. All participants were selected
randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws system and extracted
from over 10,000,00 companies. This promotion takes place annually. For security
reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your
claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem
fit to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid
double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous
elements. Please be warned. To file for your claim, please contact our
corresponding agent in South Africa immediately you read this message for quick
and urgent release of your fund, contact information is as follows: -
Office 102 John Smarth Avenue,
Agent: Mr. Simon Peterson.
Tel : +0027
Please be informed that you must contact your claim agent in South Africa on
or before 21/08/2009 . To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please
quote your reference/batch numbers in any correspondences with our designated
agents or us.
Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this program that
has successfully won this competition. Thank you for being part of our
promotional lottery program.
United Kingdom Zonal Co-coordinator.
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