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 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)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (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.
- +447035918085 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "The UK National Lottery ™. 2010" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 22:25:17 -1000 (HST)
Subject: RE: CONGRATS YOU HAVE WON
The UK National Lottery ™.
British Government Accredited
Licensed & Registered.
Monck Street,London OvSW1P 2BQ.
We publicize the external draws of the Free-Lotto grant,apprehended in
United Kingdom, November 2010. Based on random assortment implementation
of the internet websites, from Millions of e-mail Addresses Worldwide your
e-mail address was chosen including other three (10) e-mails to receive
the Grant Sum of Nine hundred and fifty thousand British pound
The National Lottery Board have approve you claim the sum of 950,000.00
GBP. Credited to file REF:TNL/000-96001219. You are therefore advised to
contact our fiduciary agent with detail below:
Claims Officer/Fiduciary Agent:Mr.Brandon Clinton
Telephone: +44 703 591 8085
Furthermore remember to quote your Reference number along with the following
details to our authorize agent.
Full Names:..(Surname First)......
Subsequent to the receipt of your above detail our agent shall process
your prize and dispatch to your position, this program is governed and
monitored by the British Gaming Board.
Dr.William B. Allison,