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")
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- 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: "Mega Millions Loteria" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2017 11:15:32 -0700
Subject: REMINDER: NOTIFICATION OF WIN.
MEGA MILLONS/ EUROPE LOTTERIAS
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD
CALLE AROYO NO 44-47, PISO 4G
NOTIFICATION OF WIN
We are glad to inform you about the release of lottery Mega Millions Lottery Draw, held on 14/04/2017. Your e-mail has become a winner in our draw and with the following data: TICKET NUMBER 766-513-56-189, Your WINNING NUMBER: 5, 10, 55, 60, 73,(12), attached to your email address.
You can check out your winning numbers through our web page: https://www.multilotto.com/es/resultados-loteria/mega-millions/2017-04-14
You won in the 2nd category and the winning amount is ?940 733.77EUROS.
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from the World Wide Web through a computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online. This promotion takes place weekly.
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated in your play coupon. In view of this, your ?925,326.18 EUR would be released to you by any of our payment offices in Europe.
To file for your claim, please contact our Claims Agent below;
MR. ALEXANDER JOVANOVIC
- Prize/ Claims Processing supervisor
Tel: +34 602 542 441
Provide him with the information below:
8.Country Of Residence:
11.Draw Numbers above:
That way your Winnings Certificate and all other relevant documents/paperwork can be prepared for you. You would be required to show an instrument of identification when cashing your cheque i.e. Drivers License or International passport.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please be warned.
Remember that all prizes must be claimed not later than two weeks from the date of receipt of notification of winning. Any claims not submitted for registration before this date will be returned to the Ministry of Economy of Spain (Minist?rio DE Econom?a y Hacienda) how frustrated.
Sr. Ferdinand Martins
Directora de Administracion
Mega Millions Loteria.