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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447092876466 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447031928964 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "NATIONAL LOTTERY UNITED" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 15:42:57 +0200
Subject: You have won in the 1st category (Draw No. 319).
Attn: Euro Millions Draw Notifications!!
You won in the 1st category (Draw No. 319). You have been approved to claim the
winning sum of £1,780,500(One million, seven hundred and eighty thousand, five
hundred pounds sterling) in cash as the final winner.
The Owner of this email address should fill out the form and then send it to your
claims agent. Your Name:_______,Your Address:_____Your Country:_____,
Your Occupation:____,Won Amount_____,Sex____,Your Mobile Number:____,
Name Of Officer: Dr.Michael Lexington
Agent Phone: 44 703 192 8964
Agent Fax: 447092876466
Good luck and congratulations from all our staff.
Online Director National Lottery UK