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:
- "microsoft corporation word lottery" (no such lottery exists)
- "ms-word lotto" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million 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)
- "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)
- 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: MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORD LOTTERY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 18:16:23 +0200
Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION!
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORD LOTTERY AFRICA.
REFERENCE NO: MSW-L/200-26937
BATCH NO: 2021 JANUARY L#22
WINNER NO: 5
ELECTRONIC MAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION
AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER: AFRICA NIGERIA.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
We the MICROSOFT CORPORATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE are pleased to inform you
that you're among our winners of MS-WORD LOTTO LOTTERY conducted in NIGERIA
BEING THE HOST OF THE EVENT FOR THIS PRESENT NEW MONTH MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO
Your Personal E-mail address or your Company email is attached to WINNER
NO: 5 JANUARY-2021-01 MSW in the first lottery category. You have therefore
been approved the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars
Only) in cash Credited to file REF NO:MSW-L/200-26937.
All participants were selected from Worldwide Websites especially Yahoo
mail,msn mail,aol mail, icq mail and outlook.com
through our Microsoft computer ballot system drawn from 21,000 Names, 3,000
names from each continent (Canada, Asia, Australia, United state, Europe,
Middle East, Africa and Oceania , as part of International "E-MAIL"
Promotions Program, Which is conducted annually for our prominent MS -WORD
users all over the world and to encourage the use of Internet and emails
Your fund has been insured with your REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937 and will be
ready for transfer/delivery to you as soon as possible. It will be
delivered to you by one of our Paymaster Staff in charge of AFRICA
(NIGERIA) Zone (MR. ABRAHAM OZZIE). Your E-mail address should be used in
all correspondence with your claims officer, please Note that, you are
advised to contact your claims officer via email and phone as we are
promoting the use of E-mail. Also you have the right to call him to confirm
your winnings as he will provide you with the necessary details on how to
claim your prize.
You are to keep your REF NUMBERS and BATCH NUMBER away from the general
public, until you have been processed and your prize money transferred to
you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming.
To claim your winning prize, you must first contact our claims department
by email for Processing and remittance of your prize money to you.
THE PAYMASTER OFFICER CONTACT EMAIL IS:
NAME: MR. ABRAHAM OZZIE
DIRECT LINE: +234(80)22195644
YOU HAVE TO CONTACT YOUR PAYMASTER WITH THE MICROSOFT WINNER'S
APPLICATION/VERIFICATION FORM OF PAYMENT PROCESSING
WINNER'S PERSONAL DATA
5.Month Of Birth... Day.. Year...
10.Mobile phone No.............
11.House Phone No...............
12. Email Address.: .eg. email@example.com
Remember, all prize money must be claimed within 14 days. All funds not
Claimed on or before the fixed date will be returned as Unclaimed and will
be seen as forfeited by you hence will be donated to charity organizations
around the world.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please
remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in all correspondences
with your claims officer.
Congratulations, once more from the entire Management and Staff of
Microsoft Cooperation African/Nigerian Regional office to all our lucky
winners this year. Thank you for being part of this promotional lottery
program. Our special thanks and gratitude to Bill Gates of Microsoft and
all his Associates for alleviating poverty around the World.
LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;
MICROSOFT CORPORATION AFRICA, MICROSOFT CORPORATION UK,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION USA, MICROSOFT CORPORATION ASIA