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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "toyota car promotions" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims office" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand great british 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 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: James Donaldson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 03:09:09 -0700
Subject: Toyota Car Promotions
The Lottery Department
Toyota Car Promotions
Road High Wycombe HP10 0N
This is to inform you that have been selected for a cash prize of Â£10,600,
000.00 (ten Million
Six Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds) and a brand new Toyota car
International programs. 2021in London UK.
You can view our website to view your car
Description Of New Toyota Car to be Shipped to you.
NEW TOYOTA CAR:......................Year 2021 Model
COLOUR OF CAR:.......................Light Blue
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our
selection system (ess) from a database of over 250,000 email addresses
drawn from all the
continents of the world.
The Toyota car Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also
licensed by the
International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).This promotional car
lottery is the tenth
of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public.
To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact your claims officer
Through our accredited Prize Transfer agents as stated below:
MR. James Donaldson
When contacting him, you are also advised to provide him with the under
listed information as
soon as possible:
1. Name in full
8. Present Country
If you do not contact your claims agent within 5 working days of the is
winnings would be revoked. Winners are advised to keep their winning de
the public to avoid fraudulent claim (IMPORTANT) pending the transfer/claim
Accept my hearty congratulations once again!
MR. James Donaldson
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS