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:
- 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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jennifer Larry" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 00:31:35 +0100
Subject: UK -LOTTERY ORGANIZATION
FROM UK -LOTTERY ORGANIZATION
TICKET FREE/ONLINE E-MAIL ADDRESS WINNINGS
If you are the correct owner of this email address then be glad this day as the result of the UK lotto online e-mail address free-ticket winning draws of 8th November 2020, held in Bangkok Thailand has just been released and we are glad to announce to you that your email address won you the sweepstakes in the first category and you are entitled to claim the sum of GBP?3.8Million, Your email address was entered for the online draw on this Free Ticket Numbers: UKL56475800545188 and won on this Lucky Numbers: AZ071223262944.
You are to contact Mr. John Edward on the below email address for quick delivery of your won cheque of GBP?3.8Millon. Note that all winners cheque are certified cashiers bank cheque and when delivered and received by you, you can cash it in your bank without any delay. To enable Mr. John Edward ascertain you as the rightful winner and receiver of the GBP?3.8Million certified cashiers bank cheque, MAKE SURE you include the below listed information in your contact mail to Mr. John Edward Your country of origin and country of residence/work, complete official names, amount won, free ticket and lucky numbers, date of draw, address where your wish to receive your certified cashiers bank cheque, contact telephone, Sex and Age.
Appointed Claims Agent/Representatives
Mr. John Edward
Just in case you are thinking of how you won without entering, then know again that this very draw of the UK Lottery Organization in which you have emerged as a winner was a free ticket online email address draws where thousands of email addresses was collected from almost all world wide websites and used for the online draws/sweeptakes and during winners selection your email address came out among the first ten which won you the lottery in the first winnings category and entitles you to claim the certified cashiers bank cheque of GBP?3.8Million.