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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- 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.
- +447011146830 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 14:20:45 -0600
Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG
Management and Central Services:
DE - 70156 Stuttgart
Reference Number: WL/GmbH-23/07-OHG
Batch: WL/07- GmbH/9907
We are pleased toinform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws of the Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG Program.
Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG draws was conducted from an exclusive
list of 25,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked
by an advanced automated random computer ballot search from the
internet as part
of our international promotions program which we conduct every
year. No tickets were sold.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address attached to
serial number 07-9907 drew the lucky numbers 9-11-25-30-38-46 which
emerged you as one of first fifty (50) lucky winners in this category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of ?1,000,000.00
(One Million EURO) in cash credited to file WL/GmbH-23/07-OHG. This is from a
total cash prize of 50 Million Euro shared amongst the first fifty (50) lucky
winners in this category.
These funds is given to you for your business,educational and personal
development, and at least 10% to be used by you to develop part of your
enviroment, which is a measure of universal development strategy, and
eradication of poverty.
This year Lottery Program Jackpot is the largest ever for Westdeutsche
Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG. The estimated ?50 million jackpot would be the
sixth-biggest in Europe history. The biggest was the 363 million jackpot that
went to two winners in a Febuary 2003 drawing of The Big Game Mega Millions'
The idea of this lottery program is that within ten years from now, there
will be notable richness among many unusual people around the world. This will
give many people the opportunity to kick start their lives to a stage
had always wanted.
Your fund is now deposited in an offshore bank with a hardcover insurance.
Due to the mix up of some numbers,names and e-mail addresses, we advice that
you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed and
your money remitted to your nominated bank account as this is part of our
security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of
this program by the general public.
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our booklet
representative office in London. In view of this, your ?1,000,000.00 (One
Million Euro) would be released to you by our affiliate bank in London. Our
agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of
your funds to you as soon as you make contact with him.
To begin your claim please contact our licensed and accredited agent
assigned to you:
Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG
Lotto Payment Release Order Dept:
London Representative Office.
Your claims agent will assist you in the processing and remittance of your
prize funds into your designated bank account.
Note that all prize funds must be claimed not later than 3 weeks. After
this date all funds will be returned to the LOTTERY TREASURY as unclaimed. In
order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please endeavor to quote
your Reference Number:WL/GmbH-23/07-OHG and Batch numbers:WL/07- GmbH/9907 in
every correspondence with your agent. Furthermore, should there be any
your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.
Members of the affiliate agencies are automatically not allowed to
in this program.
Congratulations once again from all members of our staff and thanks for
being part of our promotions program.
Westdeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG.