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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "uk national lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- 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: "FBI OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 May 2017 06:04:12 -0700
Subject: IMPORTANT LETTER
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONETARY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
This is to officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that your E-mail address was among the email that Won UK National lottery Award which you did not claim, we want to let you know that one of the bank worker where your fund was deposited arrange with his friend to come as the owner of the E-mail to be able to claim your funds, but now your fund has been recovered from them and they have been arrested.
If you receive any E-mail that you did not understand that is from unknown person please do forward it to us to verify and bring the person to justice and if you have sent money to unknown person which you believe is a scam kindly send us a prove and your lost will be added to your winning funds immediately before we can transfer to your private account
It has come to the attention of our Money trafficking investigation department, thatyou have some funds valued GBP 950,000.00 Great British Pounds on your name, the payment is awaiting adjudication and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you, this funds are from UK NATIONAL LOTTERY.
Re-confirm, Names, Address, Phone Number, Age / sex, Occupation and Country, to avoid double claim of your fund.
YOUR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE IS NEEDED
JAMES B. COMEY