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")
- "claim 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." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 00:39:29 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!!.....YOU HAVE WON 1,615,810.00 EURO
Euromillenniumlotto S. A,
San Asturio Serrano 19-2C
Madrid 28802, Espana
This is to inform you of EUROMILLENNIUMLOTTO INTERNATIONAL ONLINE PROMOTION PROGRAMM in which email accounts were picked randomly by Software powered by the internet through the World Wide Web. Your email address was among those chosen for 2012 Euromillenniumlotto Prize Award and this promotion is proudly sponsored by the Euromillenniumlotto Organization and United Kingdom Lottery Board. Your email address, attached to Ticket Number 641-9830170/OPK with Reference Number NLD-BBO/11217/2532 and Serial Number 25081203 that drew the Lucky Numbers 7-12-01-17-98-25-323, which consequently won the lottery in the first Category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of Euro 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 Madrid Spain. In view of this your prize will be release 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 the office with your claim information. All participants were selected randomly from the World Wide Web through computer draw System and extracted from over 100,000,000 email accounts.
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 receive your winning prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming or unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. To claim your prize contact our fiduciary agent:
Fiduciary Agent: Don Juan Carlos,
Email:email@example.com Provide the office with the necessary 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 your designated claim agent. Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this international online promotion programm and thanks for being part of our lottery winner this season.
Online Games Director