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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "foreign service manager" (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 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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "LOTTERY" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 23:46:19 +0200
Subject: Online coordinator.UK LONDON OLYMPIC LOTTERY.
The LONDON OLYMPIC LOTTERY P.O.Box 1010
Liverpool L70 1NL. United Kingdom (Customer service) NOTIFICATION DESK
Attention: Email Account Holder,
We happily announce to you the draw (#1398) of the LONDON OLYMPIC LOTTERY, online Sweepstakes promotion held in London 20th of June 2012.Your active e-mail address attached to the World Wide Web computer generated ticket number: B55607545 4133 with reference number UK/JA2CT-110P/08 and Serial number ZA5365/3 ,Batch number XA87-2PY,drew the lucky numbers: 01-05-09-27-42-45 Bonus 21
This subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. matches 6 lucky numbers Plus.
You have therefore been allocated to claim a total sum of £1,316,462.00 (One Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Two British Pounds) in cash is credited to file UKPC/9080144308/07. This is from a total cash prize of £14,374,330 Shared amongst the 722,219 with (3) lucky winners in "1st" category.
All World Wide Web valid email addresses used/participants for the online email version were selected randomly via computer
balloting from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies affiliated to the National Lottery and are listed online. This Online promotion takes place via virtual ticket Bi-annually.
Contact our Fiduciary agents immediately to commence release of your lottery prize.and provide him with the following details;
1.Your Ticket Number:
2,Your Reference Number
5,Drew The Lucky Numbers
6,Your Full Name;
UK Lottery Fiduciary Agents: Mr. Aaron Jude
Tel : +44 203 286 4764
Foreign Service Manager
Watford Regional Centre
Tolpits Lane, Watford WD18 9RN .United Kingdom
Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards Smith.
Online coordinator.UK LONDON OLYMPIC LOTTERY.