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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international lottery programme" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Makhl Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 13:33:16 +0100
Subject: ATTN: YOU HAVE WON
Dear Lucky Winner, We are delighted to inform you of your prize release for
the Year 2021 from the Australian International Lottery programme. Which is
fully based on an Electronic selection of winners using their e-mail
addresses Your name was attached to ticket number; 710061738 67056490901,
serial number 3141137003 This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows
7-22-43-17-12 bonus number 17, which consequently won the lottery in the
You hereby have been approved a lump sum pay of US$2,500,000.00 (TWO
MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: AUP/AW
57509/17 from the total cash prize of US$20,000,000.00 shared amongst eight
lucky winners in this category. All participants were selected through a
computer balloting system drawn from Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses
from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa
and Oceania as part of our international promotions program which is
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some
multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the
citizens in the communities where they have an operational base.
Furthermore your details (e-mail address) fall within our Western
representative office in the West Bank, as indicated in your play coupon
and your prize of US2,500,000.00 and a brand new HP Pavilion desktop
computer which will be released to you from this regional branch office in
the West Bank. We hope with part of your prize, you will participate in our
end of year high stakes for US1.3 Billion international draw.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE Simply contact our fiducial agent
NAME : Rev. Morgan Raul
EMAIL : email@example.com
To file for your claim . Please quote your reference, batch and winning
number which can be found on the top left corner of this notification as
well as your full name, address and telephone number to help locate your
For security reasons, We advise all winners to keep this information
confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize
released to you.This is part of our security protocol to avoid double
claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this programme by
non-participant or unofficial personnel.
FILL OUT OUR ONLINE VERIFICATION FORM, WRITE DOWN YOUR DETAILS AT THE
APPROPRIATE COLUMN BELOW:
Note, all winnings MUST be claimed before the year runs out, otherwise all
funds will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually donated to charity
Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!