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:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- +447031744719 (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: "Dr. Michael Anderson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 11:34:28 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS, WINNING NOTIFICATION.
UK National Lottery
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited
Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts WD18 9RN
Lottery Ref. Number: LP/26510460037/07
Batch Number: 538901527-BB67
The UK National Lottery was launched in November 1994. And today marking another milestone in its journey of excellence. We have equally maintained a standard unrivaled in the industry as it concerns the pay out of winnings to successful lucky draw winners.
In line with the commemorating event of marking our 16th anniversary last November, we rolled out over ?3,000.000.00 (Three Million Great Britain Pounds) for our 16th Anniversary Draws. Participants for the draws were randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which enjoy our patronage. The selection was made through a computer draw system attaching personalized email addresses to Ticket Numbers.
Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to Serial Number:
ELNS/6370345224/07, Ticket Number: 004-05117963-198, and Drew Lucky Numbers: 05-07-11-12-13-27, which subsequently won you ?250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds) as one of the 10 winners in this draw. You have therefore won the entire winning sum of ?250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds). The draws registered as Draw number one was conducted in Watford, London - United Kingdom On the 17th of Augst 2011.
You are to contact Mr. George Paul who is your designated Fiduciary Agent who shall by duty guide you through the process to facilitate the release of your Winnings Funds. To file for your claim please contact your Fiduciary Agent using the contact details as thus:
Mr. George Paul
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org You are advised to contact your fiduciary agent with the following details to avoid unnecessary delays and complications. Your Name (in Full), Country, Batch Number, Serial Number and Lucky Numbers as indicated in this winning Notification.
On behalf of all the members and staff of the UK National Lottery I congratulate you for being part of our commemorative 16th Anniversary Draws.
Dr. Michael Anderson
UK National Lottery Coordinator.
PLEASE NOTE! Any claim not made before Fourteen (14) working days from the date of notification will indicate that the winner has voluntarily forfeited his/her winnings.