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")
- "claims office" (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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:31:30 -0500
Subject: EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY 2014
EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
TICKET NUMBER: 231-56-22-09
SERIAL NUMBER: 00104
EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PRIZE WINNING NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the winning result, being selected winner
in the EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY held on the 08/10/2014. The selection
process was conducted and carried out through a random selection from a
database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn across the Gulf Region and
all over the world. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout
of $450,000 USD (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) in
cash credited to file EMI-NL-L/200-26937.
To begin the processing of your prize/claims you are to contact the
Director of Claims through the email address below:
Mr. Patel Townseed
DIRECTOR OF CLAIMS
REMITTANCE AND PRESENTATION DEPARTMENT
EMIRATE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
You are advised to contact and provide him with the information listed
below as soon as possible:
1) TICKET NUMBER:................
2) REFERENCE NUMBER:...................
3) BATCH NUMBER:................
4) PHONE NUMBER:..................
1. All claims are nullified after 20 working days from today.
2. Your Reference number must be in all your mails with the claims officer.
3. Do inform the claims officer of any change of names or addresses.
4. Please do not reply to this email. Contact your claims agent.
Congratulations once more from all members and staff of Emirates
Sheikh Mohammed Shahid Akhtar
Online-Co-ordinator/Emirates International Lottery.