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:
- "e.a.a.s " (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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!
- 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.
- +447031856433 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Austin" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 07:25:24 +0800
Subject: YAHOO LOTTO /MSN PROMOTION
YAHOO LOTTO /MSN PROMOTION
E.A.A.S HEADQUARTERS AMSTERDAM /Asia
We are happy to inform you that you have won a prize money of Six Hundred
and Fifty Thousand Us Dollar ($650,000.00) for the month of may lottery
promotion which is organized by YAHOO!.
Annually YAHOO! collects all the E-mail id's of the people that are online
on yahoo amongs the Millions that subscribe to YAHOO!, Eight People Are
Been selected All Over The World.
Our Winners Are Selected Through Electronic Balloting System Without The
Winner Applying.We Are Congratulating You For Being One Of The People
Selected For This Second Random For The Year 2009.
These Are Your Winning Identification Numbers.....
File number............Lwh 8892428
Ticket number...........Lwh 27 522 465 896 6453
Lotto number............Lwh 03 19 31 32 36 40 43
Serial number...........Lwh 3/772/554
To Begin Your Claims, Kindly Contact The Fiduciary Agent For Your Prize
Desmond Kliss E-mail: email@example.com
Phone No: +447031856433
Without Any Further Delay. Otherwise Your Prize Will Be Returned Unclaimed
To Our National Headquarters In Holland And Will Be Donated To Charity
You Are Required To Forward To Your Agent With The Following Details:
WINNER'S VERIFICATION FORM
WINNER'S PERSONAL DATA
Month Of Birth.:
Mobile phone No.:
House Phone No.:
This is to verify that the information filled in this FORM is a valid
particulars of me. Yes: No:
As soon as you contact Him He Will Advise you on the Procedure to claim
your Won Prize Money Immediately.
NOTE: YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO KEEP ALL YOUR WINNING CONFIDENTIAL TILL
CLAIM IS MADE TO AVOID WRONG OR DOUBLE CLAIMING.ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIAL
DISQUALIFIES YOU FROM GETTING YOUR PRIZE. YOUR ADDRESS HAS WON
Congratulations Once More!!
Dr. Austin Owchor Finance Director,
Desmond Kliss Fiduciary Agent,
Dr. Ronny Owoh Head of Administration.
[YOU MUST CLAIM YOUR PRICE ON OR BEFORE 21 DAYS]