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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "T2" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2019 18:02:19 +0200
The sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro with a Samsung Ativ Book9 lite and a Samsung Galaxy S10+ have been awarded to you from
Tele2 database of telephone and internet email users from which your email address was attached to the winning Confidential
Contact our with your winning Confidential number and required information for transfer below.
Claims Agent /Officer.
Oscar Bravo (Mr.)
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provide required information:
Country of Residence:
Mode of Payment: (Bank Transfer,Bank Cheque or Personal Claim)
Note that any leakage of your winning notification resulting to a double claim will automatically forfeit your winning prize thus we
advise you to keep your winning notification message confidential and away from public notice to prevent double claims or impersonation
until after remittance to you.
Dorcas Van Eggo.(P.R.O)
This information is directed in confidence solely to the person named above and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. This
information may not otherwise be distributed, copied or disclosed. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender
immediately via a return e-mail and destroy original message.Thanks for your cooperation.