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:
- "fiduciary 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.
- +31626539970 (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: "Kenneth Gram" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 19:34:42 -0500
Subject: ***Congratulations**** You Won for Yourself 750, 000.00 Euros
SWISS LOTTO NETHERLANDS
CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU HAVE WON 750,000 Euros You have been awarded 750,000 Euros in the SWISS-LOTTO Satellite Software email lottery in which e-mail addresses are picked randomly by Software powered by the internet through the worldwide website. Your email address was amongst those chosen this year for the SWISS-LOTTO Satellite lottery. And this promotional program is proudly sponsored by the SWISS-LOTTO organization.
Your email address attached to Ref number 5, 7, 14, 17, 18, 43 with Serial 10,, and consequently won the lottery in the "A" Category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 750,000 Euros. Number 1979-12 drew the lucky Numbers 101979-12 drew the lucky Numbers Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European Booklet representative. In View of this, your winning prize will be released to you by our fiduciary agent located In the Netherlands .Our European agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your winning funds as soon as you Contact them. This promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning details confidential till your claims is processed and your winning funds 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.
To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent:
Mr. David Bradley
Provide him with the informations as stated below:
(3) Marital Status:
(7) Country of Residence:
(9) Telephone Number:
(11)Draw Number above:
These details facilitate the due process and the release of winnings to
avoid unnecessary delays and complications in the processing of your
Congratulations once more from all members and staff of this program.
Mr. Kenneth Gram
Online Games Director