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:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "UK Afro Promo" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 12:27:44 +0200
Subject: Prize Claim Promo.
UK/AFRO LOTTERY / EMAIL DRAW OF 2018
No:47 Se1-7NA-London United Kingdom balking.
#WINNING NUMBERS#: 1,5,24,34,41 Bonus 10.
We happily announce to you the draw of UK/AFRO National Lottery online
Sweepstakes International program held for year 2018. You have won
GBP£1,000000.00 (One Million British Pounds Sterling Only) from UK/AFRO
lottery draw 2018.
Your Email ID was one of the selected emails all over the World Wide
Websites in the online lottery draw in which your email emerged as a
winning email with the lucky winning numbers above. Please, note that your
lucky winning numbers falls within our Afro booklet representative office
in Africa as indicated in our database here. In view of this,
GBP£1,000,000.00 (One Million British Pounds Sterling Only) would be
released to you by our nominated paying bank, First National Bank of South
In order to process your winning for transfer, you are advice to contact
our African fiduciary agent with the details below for your payment.
Name: Mr. Garret Adams Baloyi.
Tel: +27 747 659 857.
You are advised to send the following information to your Claim Agent to
facilitate the release of your%2