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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Dr.Felix Wilson" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2019 03:19:36 -0800
You're receiving this email from the Free
LottoÂ® Services. We are delighted to congratulate you more on your email
achievement in our online draw held recently at the LOTTERY FREELOTTO
online International program. for 2019 Prize promotion which was organized
by the network of email services providers like YAHOO, AOL, WINDOWS LIVE,
MSN, HOTMAIL and others. Computer balloting system collects all the email
addresses of the people that are registered online, among the millions that
subscribed to email service providers in every two years to benefit from
this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners Your e-mail ID
which was registered with Elm#:78954/221 was among the 17 Lucky winners of
Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000.00 USD) each. To
begin your claims, contact the fiduciary agent with your winning
identification numbers for payment of your winning fund. Your
identification numbers: BATCH NUMBER: MFI/08/APA-43658, REFERENCE NUMBER:
2008234522, PIN: 1208 WINNING NUMBER: 01 14 21 30 35 48.
 Full Names: ___________
 Contact address: ___________
 Direct Telephone No: ________________
 Occupation: __________
 Age: _______________
 Sex: _______________
 Country: _______________
 Your ID or valid passport copy. ___________________
Name Teriston Gumal
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
provided your winning reference below
Your Reference No is âFre14/45698
Your winning Tic No 33698533
File No 02365333
Director of free lotto head office
Mr. Felix Wilson