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)
- "uk national lottery inc." (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand great british 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: UK NATIONAL LOTTERY <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:05:54 -0300
THE NATIONAL LOTTERY P O BOX 1010
LIVERPOOL, L70 1NL
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are happily announce to you the draw (#994) of the UK NATIONAL
LOTTERY,online Sweepstakes International program held on APRIL 2010. It is
yet to be unclaimed and you are getting the final NOTIFICATION as regards
this.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 56475600545 188
number 1037 drew the lucky numbers: (07) (14) (29) (37) (41) (45) (04) (bonus
no.04), which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e match 5
plus bonus. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of
(one million five hundred thousand great British pounds sterling) in cash
credited to file KTU/9023118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of
£10,500,000 shared amongst the first seven (7) lucky winners in this category
i.e. Match 5 plus bonus.
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,associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online.
This promotion takes place weekly. Please note that your lucky winning number
falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated
in your play coupon. In view of this, your £1,500,000 (one million
thousand Great Britain pounds sterling) would be released to you by any of our
payment offices in Europe. Our European agent will immediately commence on 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 claim, please contact our fiduciary Agent:
Barrister James Luis
You are advised to contact your fiduciary agent with the following details to
unnecessary delays and complications:
Congratulations from me and members of staff of THE UK NATIONAL LOTTERY.
Mrs. Susan Moore
Online coordinator for THE NATIONAL LOTTERY Sweepstakes International Program.
Copyright © 1994-2010 The UK National Lottery Inc. All rights reserved. Terms
of Service - Guideline
Universidade Federal da Bahia - http://www.portal.ufba.br