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:
- "claim agent" (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)
- "million 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MARGARET TYSON <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2021 08:34:14 +0100
From: Mrs. firstname.lastname@example.org
74 West Seymour Street
Kamloops, BC, Canada, V2C 1E2
Ticket Number: A956475604745011
Reference No: TR 116 EU
Batch No. Lotto BC 6/49
Congratulations to you and your entire family as we bring to your
notice, the results of the Second Category draws of E-Mail Lottery
Promo organized and sponsor by the British Columbia Lottery Canada
(BCLC). We are happy to inform you that your email address attached to
Ticket #: A9564756045011drew the Winning # 01 02 13 30 35 38 with
bonus #45 have emerged a winner of a total sum of US$1,000,000.00 (One
Million United States Dollars), in cash credited to file
CATIS/B16OYQKL/20. This is from a total cash prize of 150,000,000
Million Dollars, shared amongst the first One Hundred (100) lucky
winners in this category. Please note that your lucky winning number
falls within our Eurasian representative office as indicated in your
electronic play coupon. Our Europe and Asia agent will immediately
commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon
as you contact our Eurasian Agent's office. All participants were
selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draws
system and extracted from over 10,000,000 companies and personal
emails. Your winning funds has been
Insured with your email address and being deposited to our paying
bank. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning
information confidential till your claims is processed and your fund
remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
FILL THE BELOW FORM AND SEND IT BY EMAIL TO OUR CLAIM AGENT, FOR THE
PAPER WORK OF YOUR PAYMENT
Congratulations once again
Mrs. MARGARET TYSON