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")
- ",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)
- 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 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: "Euromillenniumlotto S. A." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 06:24:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!!.....YOU HAVE WON
EUROMILLENNIUMLOTTO S. A,
San Asturio Serrano 19-2C
Madrid 28802, España
You have been awarded 1,615 810.00 Euros in EUROMILLENNIUMLOTTO in which
email addresses were picked randomly by Software powered by the internet
through the World Wide Web. Your email address was amonge those chosen
this year for EUROMILLENNIUMLOTTO AWARD. And this promotion is proudly
sponsored by the Euromillenniumlotto organization. Your email address,
attached to Ticket Number 641-9830170/OPK, Reference Number
NLD-BBO/11217/2532, Serial Number 25081203 drew the Lucky Numbers
7-12-01-17-98-25-323, and consequently won the lottery in the first
Category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of
1,615,810.00 (One million six hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred
and ten Euro only).
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European
Booklet representative office in Europe. In View of this, your
1,615,810.00 Euro will be released to you by our fiduciary agent in
Europe. Our European agent will immediately commence the process to
facilitate the release of your lottery winning prize as soon as you
contact them. All participants were selected randomly from the World Wide
Web through computer draw System and extracted from over 100,000,000 email
This promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised
to keep your winning details confidential till your claims is processed
and your winning prize remitted to you in whatever option you choose to
Claim your winning prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to
avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some
unscrupulous elements. To file for your claim, please contact our
Fiduciary Agent: Don Juan Carlos,
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Provide him with the information below.
3. Marital Status:
8. Country of Residence:
9. Telephone Number:
These details facilitate the release process of your lottery winning
prize; to avoid unnecessary delays and complications in the processing of
your lottery winning prize, always remember to quote your Ticket,
Reference, Serial and Lucky Number in all your correspondences with us or
our designated agent. Congratulations once again from all members and
staff of this promotional program and Thank you for being part of our
lottery program this year.
Online Games Director
N: B - PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL CORRESPONDENT WILL BE TEMPORARILY BE THROUGH
EMAIL UNTIL 24 HOURS BEFORE PAY-OUT THEN YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED BY