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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims 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 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.
- 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: "EURO MILLIONES" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 17:14:48 +0200
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS WINNER!!
SPANISH EURO MILLION INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY COMMISSION
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT
PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT
C/ Lambllia frente 4 planta #26 ,
22476, MADRID, SPAIN.
Attn: Lucky Winner,
We happily announce to you the final result on our EURO MILLION INTERNATIONAL
ANNUAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. This result was initially delayed due to mix up of email
addresses, the results were finally released on 11th August 2010, and your email
address attached to TICKET NUMBERS : 21200560 with LUCKY NUMBERS :
which drew the BATCH NUMBER: EURO/1007/444/606/08 and WINNING REFERENCE
NUMBER: ESP/WIN/008/05/10/MA, which consequently won you the lottery in the
Second category of the year 2010. NO TICKET WAS SOLD.
You are therefore approved for a lump sum payout of 935,470 Euros (Nine Hundred
and Thirty Five Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Euros only) in cash. This is from a total
cash prize of 84,19230 Euros (Eighty Four Million One hundred and Nineteen Thousand Two
and Thity Euros Only) Shared among the nine international winners in this
Your winning fund is now deposited in a financial security company insured in
your email address.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through
computer draw system.
We hope your lucky email address will draw a bigger cash prize in the next high
stake promotion agenda of 1.3 billion Euros.
To avoid unnecessary delays on your winning prize, you are to contact the
appointed agent directly for the immediate release of your winnings fund with the below details.
TICKTET NUMBERS : 21200560
LUCKY NUMBERS : 41-6-76-13-45-8
BATCH NUMBER: EURO/1007/444/606/08
WINNING REFERENCE NUMBER: ESP/WIN/008/05/10/MA
1)Your Full Name:
3)Age(DATE OF BIRTH)AND SEX:
5)Your Telephone Number:
4)Your Mobile Number:
5)Fax Number (If available):
CLAIMS AGENT INCHARGE
INFINITY SEGURIDAD ESPANA S.A.
NAME:DR. ANTONIO GARCIA
TEL: 0034-654-706-313, FAX:0034-911-820-350.
Congratulations once again from all our staff.
Mrs. Lisa Sanchez(Lottery co-ordinator)
Spanish Euro Million International Lottery Commission.