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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "email@example.com" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "British Euro Millions Results" <Results.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:11:36 +0600 (BDT)
British Euro Millions Results
PO Box 251
Watford WD18 9BR,
Pass Code: 648
You have won in the Euro Millions End of Year Online Draws
The draw took place on Friday December 31st 2010 at 10pm CET (9pm UK time).
Your Email Address was picked in the 2010 End of year electronic draw to
claim £250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds).
For claims instruction and further information, you are to send an email
to the Claims Fiduciary Agent,
The email should include the following:
1. Pass code
2. Full name
4. Phone Number
Please note that to avoid unwarranted abuse of the End of Year Programme,
you are advised to keep your pass code confidential and present only when
Congratulations once again
Euro Millions End of Year Online Draw
Copy Right (C) 2010 Euro Millions Online Draw