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:
- "irish lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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: "Frances Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2018 03:59:28 -0800
Subject: Winning Notification
The Irish Lottery
P O Box 1010
11 G Lower Dorset Street, Date: Nov, 13. 2018
Dublin 1, Ireland
We happily announce to you the draw (#1004) of the IRISH LOTTERY online Sweepstakes International program held on August 9th 2018- . It is now available for claims and you are getting the final NOTIFICATION as regards this.
Your e - m a i l address attached to TICKET number: 5 6 4 7 5 6 0 0 5 4 5 1 8 8 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: 16-17-20-28-31-35 with a bonus of 04. Which subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. match 5 plus bonus.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of 2,800,000.00 (Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand Euros) in cash credited to file KTU/9023118308/03, your winning ticket in this category i.e. Match 6 plus bonus. All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through 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 youâre lucky winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated in your play coupon. In view of this, your 2,750,000.00 (Two Million Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand Euros) will be released to you by any of our payment offices in Europe.
Our European agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim 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!!!
To file for your claim, contact our fiduciary agent:
MR Peter. T. Morrison
NOTE: Due to frequent calls on these telephone lines; calls may not go through due to conjunction. Please keep trying. We sincerely apologise for the inconveniences.
Endeavour to email/fax him your full names, winning numbers, email address, telephone and fax numbers immediately.
Congratulations from me and members of staff of THE IRISH LOTTERY.
Mrs Frances Williams
Online coordinator for THE IRISH LOTTERY
Sweepstakes International Program.