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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- 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: Benjamin Sesay <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2021 06:17:08 +0200
Subject: Congratulations!! Once again.
*UK YAHOO MAIL LOTTERY: 124 Manchester M60 2 DB-United Kingdom:*
* This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Nine Hundred
and Twenty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty One British Pounds
(Â£920,731.00) for 2021 Prize promotion which is organized by YAHOO LOTTERY
UK, Yahoo Lottery Uk collects all the 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. Six people are selected every two
years to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected
Winners. PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM. Winners shall be
paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Yahoo Prize Award must
be claimed no later than 28th days, from date of Draw Notification. Any
prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited. Stated below are
your identification numbers: BATCH NUMBER: XA87-2PY, REFERENCE NUMBER:
UK/JA2C110P5, PIN: 1208, WINNING NUMBER: 6 14 32 35 41 Bonus 43 **These
numbers fall within the Johannesburg Location file, you are requested to
contact our fiduciary agent in Johannesburg South Africa and send your
winning identification numbers to him:*
* CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT NAME: Jake Wellington E-Mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> You are advised
to send the following information to your Claims Agent to facilitate the
release of your fund to you. 1. Full name. 2. Contact Address. 3.
Telephone Number 4. Fax Number. 5. Age/Occupation. 6. Batch Number 7.
Reference Number 8. Pin Number.... 9. Winning Number. Congratulations!!
Once again. *
*Lottery Board *