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:
- "claim 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.
Fraud email example:
From: " NATIONALE POSTCODE LOTERIJ" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 03:24:45 +0100
Subject: Dear Winner,
NATIONALE POSTCODE LOTERIJ
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS.
Congratulations! You have just won one million, two hundred and fifty thousand euro (1,250,000) in
an internet lottery in which e-mail addresses were picked randomly by software powered by the Internet
through the worldwide website. Your email address was among those chosen in this first quarter of the
year. This promo is proudly sponsored by the Nationale Postcode Loterij, the Netherlands . You can log on
to our website for more information concerning our entire lottery promo at http://www.postcodeloterij.nl
Your email address, attached to JOKER NUMBER 123848, with EXTRA JOKER NUMBER 334726 drew the
WINNING NUMBER 19-21-23-33-35-37+30, and subsequently won the lottery in the "A" Category. You have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 1,250,000 million (one million, two hundred and fifty
thousand euro) Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European Booklet
representative office in Europe as indicated in the play coupon. Our European agent will immediately
commence the process of your winning to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
Note again that all participants were selected randomly from World Wide Website through computer draw
System which extracted emails addresses from over 300,000 companies and individuals. For security
reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim is processed and your
money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem convenient to Claim your prize. This is part of our
precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some
unscrupulous elements. To begin your claim, please contact our accredited agent whose details you see
Mr. Mass De Boer
Global Diplomatic Finance BV
Amsterdam , Netherlands .
NOTE: To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your joker number, extra joker
number and winning number alongside your phone numbers in any correspondence with your designated
Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this program.
Thank you for being part of our promotional lottery winner program.
(Nationale Postcode Loterij)