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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: Microsoft Corporations <email@example.com>
Date: 10 Jul 2020 12:31:11 +0300
Subject: Congratulations once more!!
MICROSOFT CORPORATIONS INTERNET LOTTERY
MICROSOFT CORPORATION'S LOTTERY RESULTS 2019
Microsoft Corporations International Lottery Office,
Microsoft Corporations announced you as one of the 7 lucky
winners of the ongoing Microsoft Corporations lottery Award of
the Year Held this month. All 7 winning email addresses were
randomly selected from a batch of 800,000,000 international
emails each from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe,
Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our international
promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently, you
have been approved for a total pay out of TWO MILLION UNITED
STATE DOLLARS (USD$2M).
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some
multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to
the citizens in the communities where they have operational base
as a sort of relief to the Covid 19 pandemic.Further more your
details (firstname.lastname@example.org) falls within our Branch office
here in United Kingdom, as indicated in your play coupon and your
prize of(USD$2M). will be released to you from this main branch
office of Microsoft Corporations United Kingdom.We wish to
informed you that your fund has been approved and insured in your
name as well as ready for delivery.
These are your winning identification numbers.
To begin your lottery claims, Please contact our Microsoft
Corporations Lottery Co-ordinator as follows,
Name;:::::: David Ola
E-mail Contact;::: email@example.com
You are to send the completed verification form below to the co-
ordinator whose email address is given above so that you will be
advised on what to do to get your prize money. Congratulations
1. Full Name:...................
2. Country Of Origin:............
3. Present Address:..............
4. Date Of Birth:.................
8. Ticket and Lucky No:.......
9. Lucky number................
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications,
please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in all
correspondences with us, Furthermore, should there be any change
of address, please do inform our Co-ordinator as soon as
We wish you continued good fortunes.