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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- 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.
- +447031912136 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: Dr Lambert Goodluck <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2020 16:12:25 -0700
Subject: Dear Esteemed Winner EUROPE-LOTTERY INC
The Promotion Department
22 Garden Close, Stamford ,
Lincs , PE9 2YP ,
London United Kingdom .
Dear Email Owner,
We are pleased to notify you the "Winner" of our last Secured Mega
Jackpot Online Sweepstakes result.
This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and
all email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly
selected from an internet resource database of registered software and
We are glad to inform you that you have won a prize money of Two
Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only,and one Mac
Book Pro Laptop in our last E-lottery promotional draw.
The online E-lottery draws was conducted from an exclusive list
of25,000,000 e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies
picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the
internet. No tickets were sold.
Reference Number: EU-14/AA002351-ES
E-ticket number: EU1274/2010-12
Amount:Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only
You may wish to establish contact with your claims agent via e-mail
with the particulars presented below:
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
In line with the governing rules of claim, you requested to furnish
your full contact information:
Date Of Birth........
Valid ID Card...........
And Reference Number;..........
The EUROPE-LOTTERY INC Promotion Award Team has discovered a huge
number of double claims due to winners informing close friends
relatives and third parties about their winnings and also sharing
their identification numbers. As a result of this, these friends try
to claim the lottery on behalf of the real winners. The EUROPE-LOTTERY
INC promotion award committee has reached a decision from the
headquarters at the United Kingdom that any double claim discovered by
the Lottery Board will result to the disqualification of the winners
lottery. So you are hereby strongly advised once more to keep your
winnings strictly confidential until you claim your prize.
Dr Lambert Goodluck