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")
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: David Dawson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 15:28:24 +0100
Subject: Relief Fund
This is to inform you that you have won one million five hundred thousand
United States Dollar $1,500,000.00 through the United Nations portion of
her experts helping the poor in such countless nations of the world for
Covid-19 relief package.
This was organized through a charitable donation from Frances and Patrick
Connolly the winner of National Lottery UK EuroMillions, (Patrick Connolly
Information Service). The United Nations Compensation Commission has made
available for distribution to successful winners the COVID-19 pandemic
relief. Your email account profile emerged as one of the ten final
recipients of a cash Grant/Donation of One Million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollar ($1.500,000.00). This cash grant is a gift you will
never be required to pay back. This fund was given for the aim of
alleviating poverty, COVID-19 pandemic relief, educational purpose and
personal development in accordance with Patrick Connolly Information
Service to The United Nations.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM.
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center and
stated below are your winning identification numbers: BATCH NUMBER:
MFI/08/APA-43658, REFERENCE NUMBER: 2008234522, PIN NUMBER: 1208, WINNING
NUMBER: 01 14 21 30 35 48. You are requested to send the following of your
full information to our fiduciary agent for claim of your winning fund
1. Full name#
2. Home Address#
3. Telephone Number#
7. Batch Number#
8. Reference Number#
9. Pin Number#
10. Winning Number#
11. Winning Number#
11. Please note that a copy of your passport or your driver's license is
needed while sending your information#
NAME: David L. Robert