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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "fudiciary" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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!
Fraud email example:
From: "MR KEVIN WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:25:03 +0200
Subject: Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finance and Security House,
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at the
course of the Uk Online Lotto Winning cheque shipment to your location, I want
to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of E 800,000pounds
I have authorized the finance house where I deposited the money to issue you
international certified bank draft cashable at your bank.
My dear winner,I will like you to contact the CEO in charge of the finance
house for the collection of this international certified bank draft.
The name of the Person with your Cheque is MR KEVIN WILLIAMS
COMPENSATION AND FINANCE HOUSE HEAD OFFICE
CONTACT AGENT : MR KEVIN WILLIAMS
Finance and Security House
United Kingdom Deposit Firm
Chelsea T45H U.K.
At the moment, I am very busy at Sydney,Australia because of the investment
projects which myself and my new partner Mr Peter Hills of CTL Company are
having at hand.
Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the MR KEVIN
WILLIAMS at the finance house on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you
contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with
good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
My sincere advice to you as a christian is that you should endeavour to pay
your tithe to a bible believing church when you get the money because
i noticed it as a fudiciary agent that you were skeptical about your winnings when you
were been ask by the Uk lotto Agency Inc to file out a claim for your prize. And now the current policy of the Lotto organiser is that if an emerged winner fails to claim up his/her winning cheque of E800,000pounds, it's now mandatory
that this fund can be remitted or forfeited to the fudiciary agent in charge of this winners file.
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Fax Number:
7. Age :
9. Present Country:
However, I want you to contact him immediately as soon as you receive this
information because he is leaving for the US by the end of this month and this
might cost a delayment for you to receive this draft.
Hope to hear from you soon.