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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 22:19:08 -0800
Subject: LOTTERY WINNER
MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT
Customer Service Centre
Dear Lucky Winner:
We happily announce to you the draw of the US MEGA MILLIONS-JACKPOT Lottery
programs held on TUESDAY, 3/3/2023. Your email address attached to ticket
number: 564 75600545188 with Serial number 5368/01 drew the lucky
*which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.
You have been approved to claim a total sum of (Nine Million Four Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars only) in cash credited to file
KTUS/9023118308/01.This is from a total cash prize of $515 million jackpot,
shared amongst the first *Lucky-Winners* in this category.
All participants were selected randomly from the World Wide Web site
through a computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 companies.
This promotion takes place annually. Your lucky winning number falls within
our North American booklet representative office as indicated. In view of
this, your (Nine Million Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only)
will be released to you by our paying bank in that regard.
Our North American agent will immediately commence the process to
facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
To file for your claim, contact our fiduciary agent with your full names,
mobile number, Age, Occupation, physical address and copy us:
Contact person: William Jobs
Do quote your winning/reference/batch numbers in any correspondence with us
or our designated agent.
Ms Linda Pacelli
US MEGA MILLIONS Co-ordinator