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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Lottery <A2@hghghgf.sa.tn>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 13:53:19 +0200
Subject: WINNERS ALERT NOTIFICATION
FROM:THE DESK OF MANAGING DIRECTOR International Lotto Promotion Commission=
AVDA. ROSARIO DIAZ 23, PLANTA 4, PUERTA B 28288 MADRID - SPAIN Tel:011-34 =
683 424 304 RE:AWARD NOTIFICATION FINAL NOTICE ATTENTION:STAKE WINNER. CLAI=
M FILE NUMBER:EG/0084/5170024 BATCH NUMBER:100000488 we are pleased to info=
rm you today of the release of SPANISH SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL PRO=
GRAM held on the first quarter 2016. Your email attached to ticket number 0=
02-77-888428-045-1334 drew the luck numbers 09-13-17-29-33-41 that conseque=
ntly won the lottery in the 3rd category.You have therefore been approved f=
or a lump sum pay of $1,816,900.00 (ONE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN =
THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) in cash credited to file=
ref number EG/0084/5170024. This is from a total cash prize of $25,750,966=
.00 (Twenty five million, Seven hundred and fifty thousand, nine hundred an=
d sixty six united states dollars only) shared among international winners =
in this second quarter promotion. Your fund is now deposited with a finance=
company insured in your fovour. Please note that your claim and batch numb=
er are the key to your fund, keep it confidential until your claim has been=
processed andfund remitted to your account as this is part of our protocol=
to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking of advantage of this progra=
m by participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot=
system drawn from 25,000.000 email address from Europe America Africa and =
Asia as part of our international promotion program that we conduct quarter=
ly every year.We hope with part of your prize, you will take part in our ne=
xt high stake USD 1.3 billion international lottery program. To begin this =
claim, contact your claim agent ATTN:OSCAR GONZALEZ, Foreign Service Manage=
r UNION EXCEL SECURITIES S A on Tel:+34 602 583 128 Email: adm.unionsecfinc=
@aol.com for processing and remittance of your money to a designated accoun=
t of your choice. Remember all prize money must be claimed not later than 2=
1 working days from the date of receipt of your reply, after this date all =
funds will be returned to the Ministerio De Economia Y Hacienda as unclaime=
d. In order to avoid unnecessary delay and complications, please remember t=
o quote your Reference and Batch numbers in every of your correspondence wi=
th us or your agent. Congratulation once again and thank you for being part=
of our promotion program. Yours Sincerely, Ms Anna Aguirre