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:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: " PRIZE AWARD 2009" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2009 19:29:40 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE WON THE MICROSOFT ANNUAL EMAIL MS-WORLD LOTTERY.
BILL GATES INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
PROMOTION PRIZE DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNET AWARD.
LOTERIE DEPARTMENT BILL GATES INTERNATIONAL.
Loterie for the promotion of internet World Wide.
Réf. Number : 53/111/9003
Batch N° : 751 00 1184-AB77
Winning N°: AJ 1755C
Security Code : *NA194309M *
ELECTRONIC EMAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER: NETHERLANDS
MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE A WINNER OF OUR ANNUAL MS-WORLD LOTTERY (MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO PROGRAMME) CONDUCTED ON 1TH OF DECEMBER 2009
YOUR PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS OR COMPANY EMAIL WAS ATTACHED TO THIS YEARS MSWLL. WITH SERIAL NUMBER 8941047002 DREW THE LUCKY NUMBERS 7-15-41-37-67, AND CONSEQUENTLY WON IN THE FIRST LOTTERY CATEGORY. YOU HAVE THEREFORE BEEN APPROVED FOR LUMP SUMS OF $ 1,000,000 (USD ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) PAYABLE IN CASH CREDITED TO FILE REF NO: BCG/ZU 128061045/09 THIS IS FROM TOTAL PRIZE MONEY OF $ 25,000,000 USD, SHARED AMONG THE TWENTY-FIVE (25) LUCKY INTERNATIONAL WINNERS IN FIRST AND SECOND CATEGORY.
ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED FROM WORLDWIDE A COMPUTER BALLOTING SYSTEM THROUGH OUR MICROSOFT COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN FROM 21,000 NAMES, 3,000 NAMES FROM EACH CONTINENT (CANADA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATE, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND OCEANIA, AS PART OF INTERNATIONAL "E-MAIL" PROMOTIONS PROGRAMME, WHICH IS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY FOR OUR PROMINENT MS -WORD USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE.
YOUR FUND (CERTIFIED CHEQUE) HAS BEEN INSURED WITH YOUR REF NO: BCG/ZU 128061045/09 AND WILL BE READY FOR TRANSFER AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT YOUR CLAIM AGENT DR C. MEYERS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SHOULD BE USED IN ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, PLEASE NOTE THAT, YOU ARE TO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER VIA EMAIL OR TELEPHONE AS WE ARE PROMOTING THE USE OF E-MAIL. ALSO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CALL HIM TO CONFIRM YOUR WINNINGS AND GOVERNMENT TAX PAYMENT THAT IS ALL, AS HE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NECESSARY DETAILS ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE. AS PART OF OUR SECURITY PROTOCOL YOU ARE TO QUOTE THIS SECURITY CODE 194309M TO YOUR CLAIMING AGENT. THIS IS TO PREVENT SCAM.
CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT OFFICER IN NETHERLANDS.
NAME: DR. C. MEYERS
TEL: + 31 619 050 767
NOTE: IN ORDER TO AVOID MISTAKES, PLEASE REMEMBER TO QUOTE YOUR NAME, TELEPHONE REFERENCE AND BATCH NUMBERS AND YOUR SECURITY CODE OF NA 194309M IN ALL CORRESPONDENCES WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER. DO NOT REPLY ANY OTHER MAILS LIKE THIS ON NET, AS THEY ARE A LOT OF SCAM ARTIST OUT THERE PRETENDING TO BE US.YOU MAY SEE MAILS LIKE THIS DO NOT REPLY. DO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, DR. C.MEYERS IN NETHERLANDS. YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE SOME DETAILS AND AS WELL LET YOU KNOW THE COUNTRIES OF THE PAYING CENTRES AND ALSO TO ENABLE THE OFFICE PROCEED WITH YOUR WINNING CERTIFICATE AND FILE KEEPING.
CONGRATULATIONS, ONCE MORE FROM THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION TO ALL OUR LUCKY WINNERS. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PROMOTIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO ALL THE ASSOCIATES FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY ROUND THE WORLD.
MRS CLARA LINSBERG
YOU ARE ADVISED TO FILL THE FORM BELOW TO ENABLE YOUR CLAIM OFFICER FACILITATE THE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT.
FULL NAMES :