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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million pounds" (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: "Geoffrey Phillip" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 22:16:19 +0100
THE UNITED KINGDOM LOTTO PLUS 5
ONLINE LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
PO BOX 1010 LIVERPOOL
L70 1NL UNITED KINGDOM.
Reference Number (48,DH,83/LOTUK)
We are obliged to announce to you the result of the just concluded monthly
final draws of the United Kingdom Lotto Plus 5 and your email was among
the 20 Lucky winners who won Â£3,152,190.00 each on the United Kingdom
Lotto Plus 5 date 6th of JANUARY 2013.
This is from the total prize money of 42 Million Pounds that will be
shared among the 20 lucky winners and you are extremely lucky to be one of
the lucky winners, therefore you are instantly qualified and eligible to
receive a total prize money of Â£3,152,190.00 following the results we
released Yesterday and your email is attached to Reference Number
(48,DH,83/LOTUK) Ticket Number (68/837) and Ballot Serial Number
(LOTUK/UK01/2013) and Lucky Star Number (03) (07) among others.
The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses
from an exclusive list of 290,600 E-mail addresses of individuals and
corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search
from the Internet. However, no tickets were sold but all email addresses
were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy.
The selection process was carried out through random selection of our
computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over
290,000 email addresses drawn from all the Continents.
This Lottery program was duly approved by the UK National Lottery and also
Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).
This lottery is the 3rd of its kind and we intend to sensitized the
general public of this wonderful initiative. As indicated by the
computerized selection machine, your Lucky Star Numbers falls within our
Plus 5 Fiduciary Agent in United Kingdom-Manchester and for your security,
you are advised to keep your winning details private until your claim is
processed and your prize money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem
To confirm the authenticity and validity of your winnings as well as to
commence receipts of your entitlement, you MUST FORWARD a copy of this
announcement as well as your"
FULL NAMES -
VALID MOBILE/CELL NO. -
COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE -
to our Winnings Director via contact information below:
Mr. Darren Harvey,
Automated Winnings Department,
Automated Winnings Coordinator,
Automated Winnings Department
It is worthy of note to keep your winning details away from the general
public, especially your Lucky Star Number to avoid any discrepancies as
United Kingdom Lotto Plus 5 shall not be held responsible of any false
claims and its consequences.
The entire staffs and Management Team of the United Kingdom Lotto Plus 5
Online Lottery Promotion wish to congratulate you for this lucky jackpot
and please spend the money prudently. GOOD LUCK!
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