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:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "email@example.com" (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: EURO-MILLIONS LOTTERY
Date: 23 Nov 2019 09:38:13 -0800
Subject: Congratulation: You're a winner!
UK Regional Office
Acorns Oakwood Park Business Centre
Fountains Road Bishop Thornton, Harrogate
HG3 3BF, UK.
Reference to the 1,260th Euro-Millions draw that took place on
Friday 18th October 2019 at 21:00 CEST (20:00 BST) through the
Euro-Millions draw system were your E-mail address emerged among
lucky winners with the drawn winning numbers:
Lucky numbers 8-18-22-41-42- Star Number 11-12
Millionaire Maker: HBMS19261
serial number MZNS47038
Prize credited to file EURO/86169/2019
An official letter was sent to your address. Your email address
has been awarded the sum of 1,957,533 GB Pounds.
Confirm receipt of this notification by contacting your claims
officer Mr. Kennith William on firstname.lastname@example.org for more
visit the link https://www.euro-millions.com/results/18-10-2019
to view your winning details as published on the Euro-Millions
Euro-Millions prizes must be claimed within 90 days of the draw
date. This is a confidential mail sent to ONLY winners of this
If you have any questions, please contact our customer support.
The content of this email is confidential and intended only for
the recipient(s) to which it has been addressed. It is for the
exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the
intended recipient(s),please note that any form of distribution,
copying or use of this communication, or the information within,
is strictly prohibited and maybe unlawful. Equally, you must not
disclose all, or part, of its contents to any other person. If
you have received