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:
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "australian lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- "international lottery programme" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims 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)
- "00,000.00" (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: Avustralya Piyangosu Uluslararasi <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:06:07 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!!! TEBRIK EDERIZ!!!
Winning no: GB68246284642/LPRCJADJDJL
We are delighted to inform you of your prize which was
released on the 2Oth of Febuary 2017,from the
Australian International Lottery programmed,
which is fully based on an electronic selection of
winners using their e-mail addresses from some sites.
Your email address was attached to ticket
number; 43201725 5456490102 and
serial number 0098134002. This batch draws the
lucky numbers as follows 5-13-33-37-42 and bonus
number 17 ,which consequently won the lottery in the
You hereby have been approved a lump sum pay of
US$1,000,000.00 (one million DOLLARS) in cash
credit file ref: IKJDP/HW 47LDK/09 from the total cash
prize shared amongst eight lucky winners in this
category. All participants were selected through a
computer balloting system drawn from Nine hundred
thousand E-mail addresses from Canada,
Australia,United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East,
Africa and Oceania as part of our international
promotion program which is conducted annually. This
Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate
of some multinational companies as part of their
social responsibility to the citizens in the
communities where they have an operational base.
Furthermore, your details(e-mail address) falls within
our European representative office in Amsterdam,
Holland as indicated in your play coupon and your
prize of US$1,000,000.00 will be released to you from
this regional branch office in ASIA MALAYSIA. We hope that
with part of your prize, you will participate in our
end of year high stakes for US$1.3 Billion
international draw.To file for your claim, please
contact our claims department through the claims
Reply to this email..
Please quote your reference, batch and winning number
which can be found on the top left corner of this
notification as well as your full name, address and
telephone number to help locate your file easily.For
security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this
information confidential from the public until your
claim is processed and your prize released to you.This
is part of our security protocol to avoid double
claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this
programme by non-participants or unofficial
Note: all winnings MUST be claimed by the
31st OF March, 2017; otherwise all funds will be
returned as Unclaimed and eventually
donated to charity organizations.
ANYBODY UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS AUTOMATICALLY DISQAULIFIED.
Australian Lottery International (co-ordinator)