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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: victoryellen xxlle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:45:55 -0700 (PDT)
FONDATION DE FRANCE (FDF).
35 Rue Lanterne,
Dear 2010 FDF Award Recipient,
Congratulations! Your email address emerged alongside Nine (9) others as a beneficiary in the Annual Fondation De France Grant /Award program. Consequently, you have been approved for a total payout of 2.8 million Euros (Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Euros) and below are Your Email Identity Qualification Codes :( E-57-10747, R-456-76).
To redeem your award, you are to quote your Full Names, Contact Details and qualification numbers to the assigned Fiduciary Agent:
Fiduciary Agent: Mr. Louis Thibault
Email Address: email@example.com
For security reasons, we advise you to keep this award information confidential from the public until your award sum is completely processed and released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-selected beneficiary or unofficial personnel.
On behalf of the Board, kindly accept our warmest congratulations.
Mrs. Victoria Elen
FDF Award Notification Officer