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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",500,000" (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 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Dennis Douglas <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 11:36:25 -0800
Subject: YOUR ARE A WINNER OF OUR 2019 MEGA ONLINE LOTTERY!
*ALL CONTINENT ONLINE LOTTERY NOTIFICATION RESULTS UPDATE!(2019 MEGA-DRAW
WINNER)7 14 18 28 45Attn: Email Account Holder,We are pleased to inform
you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the
7th of December 2019. Your e-mail id attached to ticket number
27522465896-6453 with serial number 3772-554 drew lucky numbers
7-18-28-31-45 which consequently won in the second category. You have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of $1,500,000usd (One
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only).CONGRATULATIONS! Due to mix up
of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information
confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted
to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and
unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.All participants
were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 10,500,000
individual email addresses and names from all over the world. This
promotional program takes place every second month of the year. This
lottery was promoted and sponsored by eminent personalities.To file your
claim, please contact our fiduciary agents: Dennis Douglas of ALL CONTINENT
ONLINE LOTTERY, African Continent. Telephone number: +234 903 029 1705, Fax
Line: +234 7921452, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
<email@example.com>Remember, all winnings must be
claimed not later than 5th of January 2020. After this date all unclaimed
funds will be included in the next stake. To avoid unnecessary delays and
complications, remember to quote your reference numbers and batch numbers
in all correspondence to our fiduciary agents. Furthermore, should there be
any changes of your address, please do inform our agents as soon as
possible.Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you
for being part of our promotional program.Note: Anybody under the age of 18
is automatically disqualified.Sincerely yours,Stella Phillips(Program
Co-coordinator)ALL CONTINENT ONLINE LOTTERY/INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS.*