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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Victoria Camvally" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:39:29 +0100
Subject: This Is Our Last Notice To You
Dear Email Owner,
This Is Our Last Notice To You.
We are pleased to inform you again of the result of the Internet Promotional Draws. All email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly inputted from an internet resource database using the Synchronized Random Selection System (SRSS).
This is our second letter to you. Your email address was selected in the Category A with Special Digit Code: RM10164/NL and Special Ticket Digit Code: RMA12744/2010-13, and this qualifies you to be the recipient of the grand prize award sum of Two million, Five Hundred Thousand Euro.
The payout of this cash prize to you will be subject to the final validations and satisfactory report that you are the bona fide owner of the winning email address. In line with the governing rules of claim, you are required to establish contact with your designated claims agent via email or telephone with the particulars below:
Enquiry officer: Fransico Jose
Phone: +34 634 176 577
You may establish contact with the Enquiry Officer via the e-mail address above with the information's necessary:
and E-ticket number:
Failure to complete the claims of your cash prize after 14 days of this notice will result in the revision of award.
Hence, you should commence your claims process immediately, by contacting the claims agent (Fransico Jose) who would be guiding you through the Claims process.
Note: All replies should be addressed to Mr. Fransico Jose (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information, any reply sent to other email will not be attended to.
Please take note.