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.
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: Roy Peyton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 13:49:21 +0100
Subject: Resending our previous email to you.
The National Lottery
P O Box 1010 Liverpool, L70
1NL UNITED KINGDOM
Ref: UK/7020X2/68 Batch: 924/05/ZY261
We happily announce to you the draw (#720) of the United Kingdom NATIONAL
LOTTERY, online Sweepstakes International program. Your e-mail address
attached to ticket number: 56475600545-188 with Serial number 5368-02 drew
the lucky numbers: 11-18-20-23-32-48 (bonus no 25.), which subsequently won
you the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved to
claim a total sum of Â£230,640,000 (Two hundred and thirty thousand, six
hundred and forty pound sterling) in cash credited to file
KTU/9023118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of Â£1,845,120,00 shared
amongst the (8) lucky winners in this category.
All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from
over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed
online. This promotion takes place weekly. Please note that your lucky
winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in
Europe. In view of this, your Â£230,640,000 (Two hundred and thirty
thousand, six hundred and forty pounds sterling) would be released to you
by any of our payment offices in Europe. Our European agent will
immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as
soon as you contact her. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your
winning information confidential till your claims are processed and your
money is paid out to you. This is part of our precautionary measure to
avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please be
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, get back to us Immediately
and please quote your reference/batch numbers to enable us to proceed with
the processing and payment of your Lottery winnings to you.
Roy Gary Peyton.
Lottery Co-Ordinator, Central Europe Zone.