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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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 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: Rose Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Rose Mark <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:47:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Congratulation Your E-mail Have Won Our Universal Lottery 2015
FROM: UNIVERSAL LOTTERY PROMO INTERNATIONALGENEVA, SWITZERLAND.REF NUMBER: OSL/653/029/03BATCH NUMBER: AT-040-SB06-03Â Dear : Sir/MaÂ WE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT AS A RESULT OF OUR RECENT LOTTERY DRAWS HELD ON THE 19TH OF JANUARY 2015.Â Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 27522465896-532 with serial number 652-662 drew lucky numbers 7-14-18-23-31-45 which consequently won in the 2nd category. you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of $1,000,000 (ONE MILLION DOLLARS) Note that All participants in this lottery program have been selected randomly through a oomputer ballot system drawn from over 20,000 companies and 30,000,000 individual email addresses from all search engines and web sites.
This promotional program takes place every year, and is promoted and sponsored by eminent personalities like the Sultan of Brunei, bill gates of Microsoft inc and other corporate organization. this is to encourage the use of the internet and computers worldwide.
For security purpose and clarity, we advise that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims have been processed and your money remitted to you.
Â This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants. We look forward to your active participation in our next year USD50 Â million slot.
To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent MR PETER GREG E-mail address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Remember,all winnings must be claimed not later than one month After the date of this notice.
Please note, in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all correspondence.
Â Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible. Congratulations once more and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Â NOTE: YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED IF YOU ARE BELOW 18 YEARS OF AGE.
Â However,to enable our account department proceed with the processing of your check you are required to fill the required details:
Â USE CAPITAL LETTERS ONLY.Â Full names:Next of kin:Contact address details:Sex:Phone (House no& mobile phone) and fax numbers:Age:Company name:Profession:Nationality:Contact address details where your wish your checkposted to:Brief description of your company and individual:Date:Â I.................................................here by duly declare that i have not claimed any fund from THE UNIVERSAL LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL COMPANY before,and will abide with the procedures for my fund release.
Â NOTICE:Â The above details will be documented in our database to avoid double claiming,or claim from any unscrupulous individual. We will inform you on further procedures,immediately we received your data.Our regional payment centers where you will be zoned will be posting your check to your designated address you will be forwarding to us.Â Thanks for your usual co-operation.Â Sincerely yours,
Mrs Rose Mark
(LOTTERY COORDINATOR)GENEVA, SWITZERLANDNB:Please use the above email when sending your reply.