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)
- "email@example.com" (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: "ILTS ADMIN" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 21:31:29 +0800
Subject: Claim Your Prize
International Lottery & Totalizator Systems, Inc.
2310 Cousteau Court Vista,
CA 92081 United States
Dear email owner ,
This is to inform you that you won a prize money of Five Million,five
hundred thousand United states [$5,500,000,00] for the 2021 International
E-mail Draw Awards, organized by International Lottery & Totalizator
ILTS collects all the email addresses of people who are active on the
Internet , between the millions of people that are subscribed to Yahoo,
Hotmail, AOL, Walla, Gmail, mail.Cz, American Mail, Mail Russian,
Indian Mail, Arabic Mail, Italian mails, and only few from other
e-mail providers. Six people are selected each year to take advantage of this
offer and you are one of the selected persons.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
The winners will be paid in accordance of the Settlement Center.
ILTS awards must be claimed no later than 15 days from the date of
notification Draw. Any prize not claimed within this period will be
Listed below is your identification number:
These figures, which fall within the America Location file [ALF], you
are asked to contact our fiduciary agent in the United States[Mr Henry Waters]
Agent Name: Henry Waters
Lottery winners form of payment requests.
Date of Birth :
The winner's reference / batch No : (for Approval) .
This would begin the process that will permit the release of your prize money.
(International Lottery & Totalizator Systems, Inc 2021)