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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fudiciary" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million pounds" (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)
- "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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- +447024068625 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "The National Lottery" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 03:20:46 -0200 (BRST)
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION:
The National Lottery
PO Box 1010
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
We happily announce to you Lotto draw (# 1458) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY,
online Sweepstakes International program held on Saturday 12th Dec. 2009.
Your e-mail address attached to Ticket Number:56475600545188 with Serial
Number:5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: 03-13-22-23-39-45 (04 Bonus Ball),
which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e match 6.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £2,000,000.00
(Two Million Pounds Sterling) in cash credited to File
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World
Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000
unions, associatons and corporate bodies that are listed online.
Our European agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the
release of your funds as soon as you contact him. 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. Please be warned.
To file for your claims, please contact our fudiciary agent:
Mr. Reymond Walters
Tel: +44 702 406 8625
Fax: +44 844 774 5272
With the following claims details:
YOUR FULL NAMES....................
TELEPHONE #....AMOUNT WON:....
LOTTO NUMBERS:..... B. DRAW NUMBER:.....
SIR MORIS CHALK
Online Co-ordinator for U.K NATIONAL LOTTERY Sweepstakes International