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")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known 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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Sarah Lawson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 04:36:38 -0500
Subject: Lucky Winner No:19
INTERNATIONAL/PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
Batch No: WD18/0065/04RN
Our Ref: UKNL/255457004/17
Our Ref: UK-NL/0627/17
RE:UNITED KINGDOM LOTTERIES PROMOTION PRIZE AWARDS WINNING NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to notify you of the release today as dated of the United Kingdom National Lotteries International Promotions program held on the 1st of June, 2017.Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
50,000 names and email addresses from Europe, America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle-East, Africa, and North & South America as part of our international promotions program conducted annually to encourage prospective overseas
entries. We hope with part of your prize awards, you will take part in our subsequent lottery jackpots.The result of our computer draw 844 of this day selected your names and email address attached to Ticket Number 034-22478556 with serial
number 129 drew the lucky number 16-25-27-32-35-43-42 which consequently won the lottery grand prize awards in the 2nd category.
Therefore, you have been approved a lottery jackpot lump sum prize awards winning of $2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) in cash prize credited to file Ref. No:UKNL/255457004/17. This is from the total
prize of$125,000,000. 00 (One Hundred and Twenty Five Million, United States Dollars) shared among the Fifty (50) lucky winners in this category as part of our promotional program for this year 2016. This is your opportunity!Your prize awards has been
insured in your names and ready for claim.
Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your account. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or
unscrupulous acts by participants of this program.
We hope with a part of your prize, you will participate in our next high stakes $2.6 billion International Lottery. To process your claim, please contact our North America payment claim agent immediately;
For swift processing remember, you must contact our foreign payment center agent not later than one week from today. After this date, all funds will be returned as unclaimed. Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you for being part
of our promotions program.
The Deputy Coordinator
International Lottery Department
N.B. Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the winners will result to disqualification. Please do not reply to this mail. Contact your claims agent.