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:
- "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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Dennis Douglas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 23:40:58 -0700
Subject: YOU ARE A WINNER OF OUR ONLINE LOTTERY?
*ALL NATION ONLINE LOTTERY NOTIFICATION RESULTS UPDATE!(2020 MEGA-DRAW
WINNER)7 14 18 28 45Attn: Email Account Holder,We are pleased to inform
you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the
15th of August 2020. Your e-mail id attached to ticket number
27522465896-6453 with serial number 3772-554 drew lucky numbers
7-18-28-31-45 which consequently won in the second category. You have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of $1,500,000usd (One
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only).CONGRATULATIONS! Due to a mix
up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information
confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted
to you. This is part of our security protocol 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 90,500,000
individual email addresses from all over the world. This promotional
program takes place every new year. This lottery was promoted and sponsored
by eminent personalities.To file your claim, please contact our fiduciary
agents: Dennis Douglas of ALL CONTINENT ONLINE LOTTERY, African Continent.
Telephone number: +234 7921452, Email:
<email@example.com>Remember, all winnings must be
claimed not later than 15th of September 2020. After this date all
unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. To avoid unnecessary
delays and complications, remember to quote your reference numbers and
batch numbers in all correspondence to our fiduciary agents. Furthermore,
should there be any changes of your address, please do inform our agents as
soon as possible.Congratulations once more from our members of staff and
thank you for being part of our promotional program.Note: Anybody under the
age of 18 is automatically disqualified.Sincerely yours,Stella
Phillips(Program Co-coordinator)ALL CONTINENT ONLINE LOTTERY/INTERNATIONAL