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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer of your funds" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- +447035960866 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Loterie'Romande <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:36:35 +0000
de la Suisse Romande
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws of Loterie'Romande Program.
Loterie'Romande draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 50,000
e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an
automated random computer ballot search from the internet as part of our
international promotions program which we conduct every year. No tickets
This program is organised by the international lotto and games
subcommittee and European lottery guild in conjunction with selective
International NGO organizations.
After automated computer ballot, your e-mail address attached to serial
number 02-87-87 drew the lucky numbers 15-18-21-23-33-41-9, which
consequently emerged as one of first ten (10) lucky winners in the
United Kingdom category.
Your reference has therefore been approved for a lump sum of
â¬1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO) in cash credited to file LR/11/4011.
This is from total cash prize of â¬50 Million Euro shared amongst the
first fifty (50) lucky winners all around the world. Your funds are now
deposited in an offshore
bank with a hardcover insurance.
Note that your lucky number falls within our British booklet
representative office in London. In view of this, our affiliate bank in
the Europe would release your â¬1,000,000.00 (One Million Euro) to you in
the United Kingdom.
To claim your prize funds, you are required to come directly to our
office in London for directly claim. If you have problems with coming to
our office you can make a wire transfer of your funds to your private
bank account anywhere in the World. You can also employ the use of a
courier service company to deliver your winning draft to your home or
For a telegraphic transfer of your funds to your private bank account,
you are required to send your name and address in full, phone number,
bank name, bank address, account number, Swift/Routing/Sort Code, so as
to facilitate the release of your funds to your stated bank account.
For a courier service delivery ,you are required to send your name,
phone number, information of next of kin, mailing address(home or office
address), so as to facilitate the release of your Funds to your desired
You are required to send the necessary information as regards your
chosen option to our help line below:
Information and Payment Bureau:
London Representative Office
Help Service Contact
Mr. Kumar Dey
You will be assisted in the processing and remittance of your prize
funds as regards your chosen option.
Note that all prize funds must be claimed not later than the stipulated
time frame. After the time frame, all unclaimed funds will be returned
to the LOTTERY TREASURY as unclaimed. please endeavor to quote your
Reference Number:LR/11/4011 and Lucky numbers:15-18-21-23-33-41-9 in
every correspondence with your help service.
Congratulations once again from all members of our staff and thanks for
being part of our promotions program.