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:
- "foreign service manager" (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)
- "united state dollar" (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 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: "Mr. X" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2019 02:06:50 +0800
Subject: FYI UROMILLIONS
Office Address: 61-70 Southampton Row,
Bloomsbury London United Kingdom WC1B 4AR.
REFERENCE NO: MSW-L/200-
We are happy to inform you via email that your email address emerged
winner in the EUROMILLIONS Lottery Electronic mail jackpot during
National Lottery annual global random draw winning that took place in
Atlanta USA, Your active e-mail address attached to our computer data
base during the annual random draw generated winning
ticket number : 56475600545188 as winner of $4..5 million United
State Dollar in the EURO MILLIONS Lottery second category proportion
For security reasons we advise winners to keep winning information
confidential until they receive their winning, this is part of our
protective security measures to avoid claiming of your winning by
third party with fake identity. Click on the link below for more prove
about recent and past winners
For more details about your winning prize contact the agent Mr.
................... for immediate processing of your winning by
filling in the information below
Full Name :
Home Address :
Phone Number :
Mr Robert Smith
Foreign Service Manager
E-mail: ....................... firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Marie Roberts
Disclaimer- The information in this email is confidential and may be
legally privileged. It is intended solely for the address and others
authorized to receive it. If you are not the intended recipient any
disclosure copying, distribution or action taken in reliance on its
content is prohibited and may be unlawful.