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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "e.a.a.s " (no such lottery exists)
- "arena complex km 18 route de rufisque" (address often used in fake lottery scams)
- "route de rufisque" (address often used in fake lottery scams)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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. )
- 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!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447031826879 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CONGRATULATION CONGRATULATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 15:25:19 +0000
CONGRATULATION!!! We happily announce to you the draw of 2011 Euro-Afro Asian Sweep StakesLottery International Program held in London United Kingdom. Your E-mail address attached to Lucky Number FD559/SL/7443465/05 with serial Number: 652-662 which subsequently won you lottery in the 3rd category of File Number: FA1305U-ID. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in Cheque. All participants in this lottery program were selected randomly through a computer ballot system, drawn from individual email addresses from all search engines. Your e-mail address was picked by the automated computer ballot system, which has been programed for this random selection. This has eventually qualified you for the Winning.This promotional program takes place annually, and is promoted and sponsored by eminent personalities, Sultan of Brunei,Bill Gates of Microsoft Inc.With the support of European corporate companies and organizations to encourage the use of Internet and computers worldwide. in cash credited to Ticket Number KTU/9023118308/03. YOUR ADDRESS HAS WON ($500,000) Please note that your lucky winning Number falls within our Asian representative's booklet in KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA as indicated in your File Number:FA1305U-ID. In view of this, your $500,000 Cheque would be released to you by Our Asian Fiduciary Agent, Our Asian Fiduciary Agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your Cheque as soon as you contact Barrister:ABDUL MALIIK ZAMRI office in KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA for your claim with the following details below to enable the speedy evaluation and processing of your winning.1 Name. 2 Home address. 3 Telephone Number. 4 Age and Occupation. 5 lucky number. 6 Serial number. 7 File number.======================================BARRISTER ABDUL MALIK ZAMRIE.A.A.S Inc. ASIAN FIDUCIARY AGENT E-mail: email@example.com
======================================For security purposes and clarity we advice that you keep your winning information confidential, and not to be disclosed to anyone until your claim have been fully processed and your winning Cheque delivered to you. BE WARNED!Your winning details can only be released to your fiduciary agent who will commence the process of your winning, This is to avoid wrong and double claim, it is also part of our security protocol to avoid unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous element.You are requested to contact Our Asian Fiduciary Agent in KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA for your claim. Please note that you will make your claim but not later than one month and two weeks grace period from the date you received winning notification. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications make sure that your winning details are quoted correctly in all correspondence. We advice that you adhere strictly to these procedures to avoid disqualifications and subsequent cancellation. The above detailed information will be absolutely necessary to facilitate the process of your winning Cheque.Once again! please Note that this winning is valid for(14)fourteen days and grace period of (5) five days, failure to issue claims after this period, your Cheque will be automatically voided.CONGRATULATIONS.Yours faithfully,E.A.A.S Lottery Headquarters,Euro-Afro Asian Sweepstakes Lottery Inc.Customer Service,580 N.Tenth Street,Sacrament, CA 85914,An Affiliate of Charity International.Arena Complex Km 18 Route de Rufisque,I.P.P Award Department,United Kingdom.TEL: +447031826879 FAX:+44(02)845215DR. ALLEN SMITH(Z0NAL COORDINATOR)