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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: PROMOTIONS/PRICE AWARD DEPARTMENT <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 20:20:04 -0700
FROM: THE DESK OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR.
MICRO SOFT NETWORK (MSN).
PROMOTIONS/PRICE AWARD DEPARTMENT.
MSN AWARD NOTIFICATION/ FINAL NOTICE.
MICRO SOFT NETWORK (MSN) Lottery wishes to inform you that the results of the E-mail address ballot lottery international program by MICRO SOFT NETWORK held on July 20th 2021. Your email account have been picked as a winner of FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLAR.
This results is now released on July 27th 2021 and your email address attached in the Category (A). All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from Microsoft users from company and individual email addresses and your lucky number are as follows:
Ball number 04Ball number 07Ball number 10Ball number 23Ball number 26Ball number 40 with a bonus ball Bonus Ball number 42.
You be advice to keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program, for the release of your winning, kindly contact your claims agent in MICRO SOFT NETWORK (MSN) Lottery Head Quarters Mr. Fuchs A. Emil, you are to quote your lucky number for confirmation on your winning.
All winning must be claimed not later than 30th October, 2021. After this date all unclaimed funds will be returned to European Union Treasury as unclaimed. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number in all correspondence. You are therefore advised to give the following information to your claim's agent via:
Mr. Wright Hendrix.,
1. Full name and address:
4. Tel and fax number:
6. Your age:
7. Scan and send your international passport or Driver's License:
8. Your current picture of passport size:
Congratulations from the staff and thank you for being part of email account users program.
Mr. Dunn Van Joseph.,
Executive.(Euro MICRO SOFT NETWORK (MSN) Lottery Intern.)
You must be 18 or over to play or claim a prize.
(Executive), Sarah Neufeld Robert.
Copyright © 2021 MSN Lottery International
Mr. Allen Smith,