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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- "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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Asia International Lottery" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 07:50:43 +0800
Subject: Urgent Reply
The Asia International Lottery Award (Regional Office) Blk B,2/1-3 Jln Ipoh Kuala Lumpur,55003 Malaysia.
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you of the result in the just concluded annual final draws of the ASIAN NATIONAL INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY programs. The online cyber lotto draw was conducted from an exclusive list of 1,000,000(One Million) e-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet,so no tickets were sold to enter for the promotions.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as one of two winners in the category \\"A"\\ You have therefore been approved to claim the sum of US$679,999,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand,Nine Hundred And Ninety-Nine United States Dollars Only) with the information below:
Ticket Number: 2747-3600-2010 188
Serial Number: 5368/02/10
To file for your claims, you are to contact our appointed fiduciary agent for the immediate processing and release of your winnings.
Mr Richard Lim(Foreign Operations Manager),
Malaysia Lottery securities commission.
Company Email: Mlsc@luckymail.com
You must contact the claim appointed quoting your winning numbers and providing the informations below:
Contact Home/Office Address.............
Country Of Origin................
Mobile Telephone Contact.................
Home/Office Telephone Contact............
An attachement of your driver's license or International passport data page is also required.
For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize has been released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this programme by non participant or unofficial personnel.Note: The Validity period of the winnings is for 20 working days other wise all funds will be returned as Unclaimed.
Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this program.
Asian National Lottery.