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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447011128393 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: EuroMillion Lottery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2022 03:09:28 -0700
Subject: CONGRATULATION LOTTERY WINNER!!!
EURO MILLION LOTTERY ORGANISACTION
Watford, Head Office and Regional Centre Euro Millions,
Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts, WD18 9RN
REF NO: EML/ 56-TF-8890776
Lottery Ticket Number: 09 12 15 40 47 01 11
Winning number: 67 77 90 45 50 44 33
You have won yourself a Euro Million lottery of Â£1,000,000.00 Great
British Pounds sterling. You are advised to keep your winning numbers
secret to avoid unscrupulous elements from taking advantage of the
situation. The EUROMILLIONS MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO grant award is a yearly
program, which is a measure of universal development strategy. was
conceived with the objective of human growth, educational and
scientific research, with a mind also for Community development.You
are indeed lucky to have won this lottery. Your email address is
amongst those chosen this quarter from our new Java-based software
that randomly selects email addresses from the web from
which winners are selected.
Furthermore, payment of your lottery winnings will be transfer to your
account by our affiliate Bank. Once again, congratulations.
Contact Claims Agent: Mr. Rogers Williams
Mrs.Lisa Cliford(Lottery Grant executive)
Dream Big Play Small Â®