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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "million pounds" (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.
- 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: premiere board <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 13:34:08 +0000
Subject: AWARD NOTIFICATION!!!
FROM: THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS / PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT.
8A KINGLY STREET, LONDON W1B 5PQ,
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
REFERENCE Nº: TTS/44412703/21
BATCH Nº: 20/1017/2DF
Flash Budget Finance Lottery of British International Lottery Program wishes to inform you the results of the E-mail address ballot lottery program by the British International Lottery Program held on December 17th 2020 to April 2021 Your email account was selected as a winner of Two Million Pounds Only.
This result is now made available to you and your email address attached in the Category A bonus ball 02, 03, 21, 24, 38, 44, and bonus ball 47. Participants were selected through a computerized ballot system drawn from company and individual email addresses users.
We advise that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. For the release of your winnings, kindly contact your claims agent with the following details to expedite the processing of your prize winning.
1. Full name and address.
2. Country of Residence
3. Tel and fax number.
To begin your claim, please contact our Claim Manager Mr. George Franklyn at the claims department immediately with the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or call on telephone number +27-78-026-9501. All winning must be claimed not later than two weeks from the date of receipt of this notification. After this date all prize winning will treated as Unclaimed
Note in order to avoid unnecessary delays; remember to quote your Reference and Batch numbers in all correspondence. Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our special quarterly promotional Lottery program.
Mrs. Grace Winston.
(Information and Promotion Manager)