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.
- 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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- company s.l on tel: +34 631 910 089 . or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. for processing and remittance of (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ANTONIO GOMEZ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2023 18:50:38 +0100
Subject: RE: AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION.........REPLY
Avd.Juan Real 25 C.P 28002
FROM: THE DESK OF THE VICE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRICE AWARD
ATTN: Reference number: CIC/65466/23
Batch number: ES/23-5613/MA
RE: AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION.
We are pleased to inform you today the 12/04/23 of the results of
INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD PROMOTION held on the 01/02/23. Your name
was attached to Ticket number: 35183, Ref number: CIC/65466/23, Batch
number: ES/23-5613/MA, Serial number: 48a, prize claim track number:
X-8007891324-Z which won the lottery on the 3rd category.
You have therefore been approved of 985,950.00â¬ (NINE HUNDRED AND
EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EUROS ONLY) in cash
credited to file REF.NO:CIC/ 65466 / 23 This is from a total cash
prize of 18,671,410.00â¬ (EIGHTEEN MILLION, SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTY ONE
THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED AND TEN EUROS) shared among the lucky
international winners in this category.
Your fund is now deposited with a finance company insured on your
name. Therefore no deduction is permitted to be made from your fund.
You are expected to report to the board if this is breached. In your
best interest, we ask that you keep this award from public notice
until your claim has been processed as this is part of our security
protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of
this program by participants. All participants were selected through a
computer ballot system drawn from 520,000 names from Asia, Europe,
Australia, Africa, North and South America.
To begin your claim, please contact your claims agent, RAUL GARCIA.
Foreign Operations Manager, ZENTH SECURITY COMPANY S.L on TEL: +34
631 910 089 . OR EMAIL: email@example.com OR
firstname.lastname@example.org. for processing and remittance of your prize money
to a designated account of your choice or after a cheque has been
raised on your name. Remember, all prize money must be claimed not
later than 25TH MAY, 2023. After this date all funds will be returned
to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed. And also be
informed that 10% of your lottery wining belongs to ZENTH SECURITY
COMPANY S.L because they bought the ticket and entered your name for
this draw. They are your claims agent. This 10% will be remitted
after you have received your winning fund.
NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please
remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every of your
correspondence with us or your agent. Furthermore, should there be any
change of your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as
possible. Congratulations again from all members of our staff and
thank you for being part of our program.
PRIZE CLAIM TICKET