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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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: "Global Internet" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 07:12:30 -0000 (UTC)
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of One Million Five
Hundred Thousand US Dollar (US 1,500,000.00) for 2017 Prize promotion
which is organized by YAHOO, AOL, WINDOWS LIVE, MSN, HOTMAIL this 2017.
YAHOO and MICRO SOFT collects all the email addresses of the people that
are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo and Hotmail
and few from other e-mail providers.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Stated
below are your identification numbers: BATCH NUMBER: MFI/08/APA-43658,
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2008234522, PIN: 1208, WINNING NUMBER: 01 14 21 30 35
48 These numbers fall within the Location file. You are requested to
contact our fiduciary agent in and send your winning identification
numbers to him:
CLAIMS MANAGER CONTACT INFORMATION:
NAME: Mr. Niko Wessman
You are advised to send the following of your information to award office
Claims Agent to facilitate the release of your fund.
1. Full name
2. Contact Address
3. Telephone Number
4. Fax Number
7. WINNING NUMBER
8. BATCH NUMBER
9. PIN........................ .........
10. REFERENCE NUMBER
11. Please note that a copy of your passport or your driver's license is
needed while sending your information
Congratulations!! Once again.