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 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:
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Mark Harris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 21:15:56 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: Re: Of Immense Benefit
Good day to you, I am Mark Harris, a citizen of the United Kingdom. I
work with National Lottery Commission and Camelot Group PLC, "the
official monitoring body and the operator of the UK National Lottery".
Please you can read about me in my company`s work profile link below:
I have a very urgent proposal for you which will be of our mutual benefit.
I wish to seek your acceptance and cooperation so that the total sum of
£8,497,985(Eight Million Four Hundred And Ninety Seven Thousand, Nine
Hundred And Eighty Five pounds) can be paid to you by the National Lottery
for our mutual benefit. The said amount is an unclaimed lottery prize; the
wining prize result was published over four month ago and since then, the
winner of the prize has failed to come with the winning lottery ticket to
claim his or her winning prize.
I wish to front you for the claim as the winner of the prize because there
is a claim deadline of 180 days (six months) for the claim of this prize;
which means that, after the deadline of 180 days, this funds will be
forfeited and sent to the UK. Government treasure if left unclaimed. There
was a case like this in 2006 were a winner failed to claim his/her winning
prize, and the prize was forfeited and remitted to the UK Government
You can check the below BBC news page to confirm this
The reasons why some winners fail to claim their prizes may be one or all
of the below:
1. The winner may have accidentally thrown away the tickets and lost track
of the winning ticket number and other vital information as regards the
2. Some winners do not check their tickets properly.
3 The winner may not be aware of the victory .
4. The National Lottery does not advice winners about their winning via
email notification that is why some may not be aware that they won in the
draws. Also, notification of winning via email is a fraudulent attempt to
reap ignorant people of their hard earned money; because you cannot win
any prize money without buying a lottery ticket and partaking in the
lottery draws. Winners are not required to pay any fee before prizes are
issued to them by the National Lottery.
However, I hereby seek your consent to cooperate with me so that I can
provide you the winning information that won the prize funds of £8,497,985
to enable you apply for the claim of the funds as the winner. Once the
funds is paid to you, Our mode of sharing will be on a 50......... 50
basis. i.e. 50% will be for me while the remaining 50% will be for you.
All you need to do is to cooperation with me honestly and confidentially.
This project is 100% risk free because it will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law as
I have mapped out all plans to ensure we claim this funds without any
trace in the future.
I look forward to your quick response while thanking you for your