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:
- "national lottery promotion" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- "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!
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: SHERYL SANDBERG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2019 10:37:44 -0700
Subject: Congratulations Dear Winner,
*FACEBOOK INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.*
*Congratulations Dear Winner, *
* We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded
annual final draws held by Facebook Lottery Group in Cash Promotion to
encourage the usage of Facebook world wide.The online international lotto
promo draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 50,000.00 companies/
corporate bodies and 30.000.000 individual users email addresses from
Europe, North & South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle-East
and Africa, were picked by an "Advanced Automated Random Computer Search
Machine" from the Facebook Platform. This is a millennium scientific
computer which was used. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging
Facebook Users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it.
"NO TICKETS WERE SOLD". *
*After this automated computer ballot machine searched, your e-mail address
emerged as one of the twelve (12) winners that won the sum of Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollar each aims to say a big thank you to all of
our users to make Facebook their number one means to communicate, relate
and connect to their friends and families worldwide and of enjoying the
good characteristics of visitors to our website and also to help people to
fight against the general shortage and maintain a good standard of living. *
*Below are some important numbers attached to your Winnings and you are
advised to write down this numbers on a safe paper and keep it safe because
it will be require in Future; *
*REFERENCE NUMBER: BGL/006194/240 *
*BATCH NUMBER: B04/N450-28 *
*SERIAL NUMBER : 00903228/06 *
*You as well as other winners are receiving a cash prize of US$500,000.00
(Five Hundred Thousand Dollars), each as payout for a category winners.
This is from the total prize money of US$6,000.000.00 (Six Million Dollars)
shared among the 12 winners. Your prize award has been Insured in your Name
and will be transferred to you upon meeting our requirements, statutory
obligations, verification, validations and satisfactory Disbursement. *
*To begin the claims processing of your winnings prize you are advised to
contact the CEO in person of Mark Zuckerberg, you can reach him with the
below information for the Claiming Of Your Winning Fund; *
*DISBURSEMENT MANAGER *
MR. MARK ZUCKERBERG.
Tel: +1 (252) 462-1886
*You are expected to contact the CEO with your REFERENCE NUMBER and BATCH
NUMBER written above and you are also to provide the below information
about you for the immediate process on your Winning Fund. *
*1) BATCH AND REFFERENCE NUMBERS*
*2) FULL NAMES*
*5) MAILING ADDRESS*
*6) PHONES AND FAX NUMBERS*
*7) EMAIL ADDRESS*
*1.All claims are nullified after 10 working days from today. *
*2.Your Ref number must be in all your mails with the claims officer. *
*3.Do inform CEO of any change of names or addresses. *
*The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to
whom or which it is addressed. Unauthorised use, disclosure or copying is
strictly prohibited. The sender accepts no liability for the improper
transmission of this communication nor for any delay in its receipt. *
*Contact your Claims CEO immediately. *
*Facebook Lottery Group*