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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Rita De Silva <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2021 08:54:11 -0700
Subject: End Of Year Bonanza
This is to inform you that you have won prize money of Three Million
Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars, ($ 3,800, 000.00)on our
ongoing End Of Year Bonanza AWARD 2021 prize promotion, which was
organized by YAHOO! INC, AOL, GMAIL and MSN WINDOWS LIVE AWARDS.
Yahoo/Msn collects all email addresses of the people that are active
online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo and Hotmail and
few from other E-mail Providers. Five people are selected this month
to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the lucky Selected
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center.
YAHOO & OUTLOOK WINDOWS LIVE PRIZE AWARD must be claimed no later than
10 days from date of Draw Notification. Any Prize not claimed within
this period will be forfeited.
Stated below are your identification numbers:
BATCH NUMBER: MFI/06/APA-43658
WINNING NUMBER: 14, 21,30,34,47,71
These numbers fall within the Africa Location file, you are requested
to contact our fiduciary agent in South Africa and send your winning
identification numbers to him:
Agent Name: Mr. Charles Robert
Address: 1st Floor Medical Mews,Sandton City,South Africa.
PLEASE CONTACT HIM THROUGH THIS EMAIL, ADDRESSES:
You are advised to send the following informationâs to your agent to
facilitate the release of your winning fund to you.
1. Full Namesâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦...
3. Contact Addressâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦...â¦.
4. Telephone Numberâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦.â¦.
5. Fax Numberâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦...â¦â¦â¦â¦.
6. Marital Statusâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦.
8. Date of birthâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
Mrs. Linda Naidoo
Yahoo! & Outlook Board
WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!!
Do not tell people about your Prize Award until your money is
successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may
arise from double claim.
You may also receive similar e-mails from people portraying to be
other Organizations or Yahoo Inc. This is solely to collect your
personal information from you and lay claim over your winning. In
event that you receive any e-mail like the notification letter that
was sent to you, kindly delete it from your mail box and give no
further correspondence to such person or body.
Yahoo shall not be held responsible for any loss of fund arising from
the above mentioned.