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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- 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!
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 21:38:48 +0000
Subject: Notice of your Sweepstake price claim
To fill it out, visit:
This is to inform you on the release of the SWEEPSTAKE
LOTTERY PROGRAM held on the 29th OF August 2020. Your name is
attached to ticket number 025-11-464-992-750 with serial number 2113-05
drew the lucky numbers 13-15-16-21-34-36 which consequently won the
lottery in the 3rd category.
You have therefore approved for a lump sum payout of USD 615,810.00
(SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND
SIXTY EIGHT THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND TEN UNITED STATES
DOLLARS ONLY) in cash credited to file with REF.NO.EG/2251256003/01
and BATCH NO. 000750013.This is from a total cash prize of USD
10,468,770 (TEN MILLION FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT
THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY US DOLLARS
ONLY) shared among 17 (Seventeen) international winners in this
Your fund is now deposited with a security company and insured in your
name. Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you
keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed
and your money remitted to your account as this is part of our security
protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking of an advantage of
this program by participants.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
25,000 names from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe. America and
North America as part of our international promotions program which we
conduct once every year. We hope your lucky name will draw a bigger cash
prize in the next years highstake USD 1.3 BILLION inter.lottery.
To begin your claim, please contact your claims agent, DR, ROSA
HARRISON the foreign service Manager of SANTA LUCIA SECURITY
COMPANY, S.A. on TEL:+12293503825 for
the processing and remittance of your winning prize money to a designation
of your choice.
Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 4th of July 2005
this date all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y
HACIENDA as unclaimed. And also be informed that 10% of your Lottery
Winning will be paid to SANTA LUCIA SECURITY COMPANY S.A. after you
have received your money.
NOTE: in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications,
please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every
correspondence with us or your agent. Furthermore, should there be any
change of your address do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.
Enclosed with this letter is also a payment processing form which you
should complete and return to +12293503825 for
immediate processing of your claims.
Congratulations once again from all our members of staff and thank you for
being part of our International promotions program.
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