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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a 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!
- 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: "EUROMILLION PROMOTION" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2019 23:24:19 -0700
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
REF Number : MLI/231-ILGI0431/04
BATCH Number : EAPA/15/096/PTNL
TICKET Number : 20511465897-6291
SERIAL Number : 472-971103
LUCKY Number : 8-66-97-22-71-64
RE : WINNING FINAL NOTIFICATION
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the 28th of June,2019 Your E-mail address attached to Ticket number 20511465897-6291 with Serial number 472-971103 drew lucky numbers 8-66-97-22-71-64 which consequently won in the 2nd category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of US$ 1,500,000.00 (One Million ,Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars). This is from a total cash prize of USD$15,000,000.00 Million shared among Ten International Lucky Winners in the Category A ( Plus )+ . CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Be informed that your documents have to pass our authority to obtain a clearance, which shall be attached to your Document in readiness for the subsequent onward transfer into your nominated bank account with 24 hours of completion of the authentication. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information very confidential until your claims have been processed as the Beneficiary. i.e Certificate of Ownership Winning Notification, Stamp duties and re-activation of Account of your prize /money remitted in readiness for the subsequent onward transfer into your nominated Bank Account is completed
This is in conformity with the latest transfer regulations signed by the Organization / Spanish Government since this is part of our Security protocol measures to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 100,000,000 Companies and 200,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world, through the aid of our insurance Company.
This promotional program takes place annually. We hope you will take part in our next year USD$45 Million International lottery. To file for your claim, please contact our /your fiducial agent MR. ALBERTO GABASINI the DOLLAR ACCREDITED PAYMENT AGENT
TEL: +34-631 254 311
Email : email@example.com
NOTE: That all winnings must be claimed not later than 30th of JULY 2019. After this date all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified.
Finally, we call on you to make sure that you note every letter clearly as stated for we will not be held responsible should there be any complications in this transaction due to laxity on your part. So you are to expedite action in claiming of your funds, for delays will compel us to disperse your funds, in other words, we shall divert your funds as stated above. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and mistakes, Kindly remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all correspondence.
Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible. Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Mr Harry Herman