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")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "00,000.00" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 22:22:12 -0000
Subject: REF: BPM772053
EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENT: RESULTS NOTIFICATION OF THE EUROMILLIONS LOTTERY DRAWS, Friday 12 October, 2012
Attention: Dear Prize Winner,
RE: CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR LOTTERY WINNING!
Your email address drew as one of the lucky winning ticket number for the EUROMILLONS LOTTERY 2ND PRIZE DRAWS in which twelve lucky winners emerged. You have won a lottery prize amount of £1,200,000.00 GB POUNDS.
EUROMILLIONS RESULTS : Draw number 421 :: Friday 12 October, 2012
05,15,28,31,44 Lucky Stars 01,06
AMOUNT WON/PRIZE: £1,200,000.00 GBPOUNDS.
12 Winners : 2nd Prize; 5 and 1 Star
This promotion is entry free which NO TICKETS ARE PURCHASED! Winners are randomly selected systematically online by City code and email entry only, selections of winners are generated by an Electronic Random Selection System (ERSS) used by EuroMillions Lottery, and the United Kingdom Gaming Board Members.
To contact your individual Claims Processing/Fiduciary Agent, please reply to this email. Upon response to this email, please forward the following details of you to your claims Agent to enable their office clear your file for immediate winning payout:
1. FULL NAMES: _________
2. ADDRESS: _____________
3. TELEPHONE NUMBER: __________
4. SEX: _________
5. AGE: ______________________
6. RESIDENT COUNTRY: ________________
7. NATIONALITY: ________________
8. OCCUPATION: ________________
You are also to choose the most suitable payment option which applies to you, with which you want your funds paid out to you; listed below are our payment options available to winners (mark with 'X'):
(1) BANK PAYMENT [Preferred Instant Option] (Online Security Account required):...............................( )
(2) COURIER DELIVERY OF WINNING CHECK [2-3 weeks clearance duration]:..............................( )
Ms. Abdelilah Benata,
EuroMillions Lottery Award
The United Kingdom.