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")
- ",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)
- "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.
- +447045704002 (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: Euro-Afro Asian Lottery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 14:23:14 +0000
We happily announce to you the draw of 2012 Euro-Afro
Asian Sweepstakes Lottery International Program held in United
Kingdom. Your E-mail Address attached to
Lucky number: /7443465/10 with Serial number: 652-6852 and Draw number: 5341802-560 which subsequently won you lottery in the
3rd category of File number:FA13057U-ID. You have
therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$2,000,000 (Two Million United
States Dollar) 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 programmed 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,
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 file KTU/9023118308/03.
YOUR ADDRESS HAS WON
Please note that your lucky winning
number falls within our Asian representative's booklet in MALAYSIA
as indicated in your file number: FA1305U-ID. In view of this, your $2,000,000 USD 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 AMEEN MOHAMMED ABDULLAH Office in
Please contact Barrister AMEEN MOHAMMED
ABDULLAH in 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. 8 Draw number.
BARRISTER AMEEN MOHAMMED
E.A.A.S Inc. ASIAN FIDUCIARY AGENTE-mail:(email@example.com)
For security purposes
and clarity we advice that you keep your winning information's confidential, and
not to be disclosed to anyone until your claim have been fully processed and
your winning Cheque delivered to you. BE WARNED!
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, and 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 MALAYSIA for your claim. Please note that you will make your claim but
not later than one month and two weeks grace
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.
Euro-Afro Asian Sweepstakes Lottery Inc.
Service,580 N.Tenth Street,
An Affiliate of Charity International.
Arena Complex Km
18 Route De Rufisque,
I.P.P Award Department, United Kingdom.