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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "INTER PROMO" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:19:36 -0800
Subject: INTER PROMO 2019
We are pleased to inform you, the beneficiary whose name is on this =
mail has won the awaited delayed result, of our international promotion =
sweepstakes program held on 15/11/19. The results were released on the 16/=
11/19. Thisprogram was designed to promote and encourage international part=
icipation inour high stake new year Spanish Sweepstakes.(INTERNATIONALLOTTO=
COMMISSION) Names entered in the program were presented by ANDALUCIA =
VISTA S.A in conjunction with agroup of philanthropist, humanitarian o=
rganisations, and alsowith the help of chambers of commerce and industr=
ies and countries with high commission in Spain.Using a computer balloti=
ng selection system from all names submitted for the program, your namewith=
ticket number 76494 won in the 3 category, and was awarded the sum of=
=E2=82=AC989,250.00(NINE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND=
FIFTY EUROS ONLY),Your security file number for your winning claim is B=
For advice to begin your claims, please contact your claims agent MARIA A=
NA CASTILLO the Foreign Affairs manager of FIDELITY FINANCE SEGUROS S.A,=
Tel: email at email@example.com for all necessary verifications=
before transfer can be effected. =
Winnings must be insured tothe original value, to avoid any unexpected situ=
ation. The insurance bond certificate should bepresented by your agent t=
o our desk, before winning funds will be released to the official ban=
k in Spain for onward transfer to you,after verification proves you a=
re the true beneficiary of winnings under Security File Number: BLCH/20=
The deadline for this claims is 21/12/2019 After this date, unclaimed=
winnings will be returned to the Spanish Economic Ministry, and late =
entry penalty requirements must be metbefore late entry claims can =
be considered. Also be informedthat 10% (ten percent) of your prize money =
belongs toFIDEITY FINANCE SEGUROSS.A. The 10% will be remitted after you ha=
ve received your winning prize. Inorder to avoid unnecessary delays and com=
plications, please remember to quoteyour reference and prize tracking numbe=
rs in every of your correspondence with your agentAll correspondence must b=
e directed to yourauthorized and registered claims agent: FIDELITYFINANCE S=
Dr.LisaAntonio F. Castillo =
Vice PresidenteInternacional Premio Departamento
All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respecti=
Copyright =C2=A9 2018-2019. =
All rights reserved
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