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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claim agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: PROMOTION <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:12:59 +0200
Subject: Good day
MOBILE MERIT 106356.
We happily announce to you the draw of the MOBILE MERIT TELECOM 2021
lottery online programs held recently to alleviate poverty and for Covid
19 relief. Your e-mail address attached, to ticket number: 694 75600541
721 with Serial number: 886/21 drew the lucky numbers:09-6-2-25-11-19,
which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category. You are
therefore, been approved to claim a total sum of 9500,000,00. in cash
credited to file PFD/9080115322/98.
This year's Lottery Program Jackpot is the largest ever for MOBILE MERIT
Lottery, The estimated 111 million jackpot would be the sixth-biggest in
MOBILE MERIT TELECOM history .The biggest was the 369 million jackpot that
went to two winners in a May 2020 drawing of The Big Game, Mega Millions'
predecessor. Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our
World wide booklet and our representative as indicated in the
electronic play coupon. In view of this, your 9500,000.00 would be
released to you after proper protocols by our claim agent has been
followed by you. Our agent will immediately commence the process to
facilitate the release of your funds to you as soon as you make contact .
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Website through
computer draw system . To file for your claim, contact Mrs. Elizabeth
Botha On:. Tel;/What sap +27781804770 or contact the assistant on:
Mr Johnson Maxwell (. Uk Gaming Commission)
For an online transfer, send the following: Account holder's name, account
number, branch code, bank name,province/sate,country and direct telephone
For Cheque delivery,Your full names, residential or official address,
province/sate,country and telephone number.