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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million pounds" (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)
- 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.
- +447024051534 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "British National Lottery" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 19:04:30 +0800
Subject: Ref: UK/9420X2/68
The British National Lottery
P O Box 1010
3b Olympic Way, Sefton Business Park,
Aintree, Liverpool , L30 1RD
Ticket number:56475600545 188
Lucky Numbers: 05,06,17,20,28,42(Bonus33)
We wish to congratulate and inform you on the selection of cash prize
£1,000,000.00 (British Pounds) held on the 8th March 2011
in London Uk.The selection process was carried out through random
selection in Our computerized email selection system (ess) from a
database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from which you were
selected. And Your e-mail address attached to ticket number:
56475600545 188 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers:
05, 06, 17, 20, 28, 42 (Bonus 33) ,which subsequently won you the
lottery in the 1st category i.e match 5 plus bonus.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of 1 Million
Pounds,(One Million Pounds) in cash credited to fileKTU/ 9023118308/03.
This is from a total cash prize of £1,000,000 Million Pounds,shared
amongst the (4)lucky winners in this category i.e Match 6 plus bonus.
For due processing of your winning claim,please contact the
FIDUCIARY AGENT Information Officer Mr. Fred Peters who has been
assigned to assist you. You are to contact him with the following
details for the release of your winnings.
Agent Name: Mr. Fred Peters
Contact him, please provide him with the following Requirements below:
1.Name in full----------------------
If you do not contact your claims agent within 5 working days of this
Notification, your winnings would be revoked. Winners are advised to
keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid
Fraudulent claim (IMPORTANT) pending the prize claim by Winner.
*Winner under the age of 18 are automatically disqualified. *Staff of
the British Lottery are not to partake in this Lottery.
Accept my hearty congratulations once again!
Mrs. Stella Ellis
Note that you are not to reply to this E-mail,please contact your
claims officer directly to start the processing of your claims