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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "australian lottery" (can only win this lottery if you bought a ticket)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "AUSTRLIANWINNER" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:03:37 -0700
Subject: CONGRATULATION YOU HAVE WON
On Behalf of the Screening Committee of AUSTRALIAN lottery promotion, we wish to formally inform you that you have successfully passed the Email Screening and Verification Matching Test conducted for all online winners in accordance with the Australian National Lottery Terms and Conditions. You are hereby declared a winner of ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED & FIFTY USD on the ongoing AUSTRALIAN Lottery Promotion .
To claim your winning kindly contact our fiduciary agents on the below contact details:
REV . Sister Heather Potter Evidence
Phone: + 234 808018 7366
As you already know, all winners for the online version of the AUSTRALIAN National Lottery Online promotions were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from an exclusive list of 21,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies listed online as part of our international promotion to promote international co-operation between the MIDDLE EAST, ARABS and other countries worldwide and I must say that you should count yourself extremely lucky to have emerged as one of our winners in this week's lucky dip sweepstakes and we do sincerely hope you will put part of your winnings into good use for community, educational and business development and also to render selfless services to the less privileged in your community.
Mr. Peter Hans
Lottery promotional Agent?