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")
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Dr.James Peake,Lt.Gen.(Ret),President" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:01:37 +0200
Subject: :::EMAIL PRIZE NOTIFICATION:::
Global Communications and Investor Relations
1350 René-Lévesque Boulevard West
:::EMAIL PRIZE NOTIFICATION:::
We at Global Communications and Investor Relations office likes to officially congratulate
you for the draw that was just held by our company which featured you as
the second place winner. Our company holds promotions each year just to
promote our global publicity and reputations as we plan to exploit more
corners of the world with our highly valued products line. This promotion
is just one of various ways we are presently using to achieve this global
vision of ours.
Your email address with *QUALIFICATION NUMBER*(UNF/CF-770-671GZW G-12-80)
drawn to be this year's second place winner of a Brand New Gallery 2014
BMW 3 Series model: which is worth $42,505 USD and cash prize of $1.5
Million United State Dollars.This money and gift we believe will enable
you make some impact in the society and possibly invest in our company in
the near future.
You are hereby requested to contact our Senior Vice-President for more details on our
Promotion in particular before taking further actions to claim your prize.
Ensure you inform Robin Spencer who is our fiduciary claims official Adviser in (canada)
See details of him below; Please copy and reply with this email address of the
company claims officer if you must get a reply.
Senior Vice-President, Global Communications and Investor Relations,
When contacting the claims agent you should include the following if you
must get a response from him;
*** Your Full Name:
*** Full Address:
*** Personal Email or Fax
*** Phone number:
*** Winning email and QUALIFICATION NUMBER:
*** Value ID Card
We know you must be excited and very happy about this news you have just
received from us and the truth is that we are doing this to put smiles
into homes and hearts of people worldwide. The only thing you will need to
pay to this company is to kindly place our company logo on the car (BMW)
that you have just won for a minimum of six (6) months.
On behalf of the entire management and staffs of Global Communications and Investor Relations,
I say Congratulations to you and your family.
*NOTE** you must be 15years or older to claim. Late response is not
accepted, misconduct and non adherence to instructions leads to prize
termination. Do not fail to keep your winning information personal for
security reasons because the Company will not be responsible for lost of