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")
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: Michael Morgan <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:00:18 -0700
Subject: Co-coordinator Award Lottery Promotion
Attn: Esteemed Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that you have won prize Money of Eight Million United States Dollar only($8,000,000.00USD) for 2020 Prize Promotion which is organized by all domain users and all social network users too.
GOOGLE and MICROSOFT collect all the e-mail addresses of the people that are actively online, among the millions that subscribed to e-mails/social network users. Six people were selected to benefit from this Promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIMS
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. The lottery prize award must be claimed no later than 14th days, from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited. Please be informed that your ATM CARD in the sum of US$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million United States Dollars) is now with your fiduciary agent in Abuja Nigeria, insured and issued with your email address which won you this prize, therefore you should contact your fiduciary agent Mr. Victor Umeh, our payment office, Nigeria with your detail information so that they will expedite actions for the processing of your fund delivery. Stated below are your identification numbers:
AWARD WINNING NUMBER:01 14 21 30 35 48
These numbers fall within the Nigeria Location file, you are requested to contact your Fiduciary agent on below info and send your winning identification numbers to them;
FIDUCIARY AGENT/CLAIMS MANAGER CONTACT INFORMATION:
TEL: (+234 805 369 7179)
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Victor Umeh
You are advised to send the following information to your Fiduciary Agent to facilitate the release of your fund to you.
Terms and Conditions applied.
4.Copy of your passport, or identity card-------
Congratulations!! Once again. Yours in service,
(Co-coordinator Award Lottery Promotion)
Do not tell people about your Prize Award until your money is successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may arise from double claims.