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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "the bmw automobile company" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- 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.
- +447035979396 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 21:35:42 +0000
Subject: Ticket Number: 8603775966738
THE INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS PROMOTION
DEPARTMENT OF THE BMW AUTOMOBILE COMPANY.
41 Wigmore Street London W1U 1PJ, United Kingdom,
In the final draw of 25th day of March 2009 Your e-mail address attached to Ticket Number: 8603775966738 with the following Winning Numbers:6, 18, 40, 43,
47, 49, 32 (bonus no.32) has won you £500,000.00 G.B.P. (Five Hundred thousand Great British Pounds) in the ongoing BMW AUTOMOBILE 2009 awareness program
You are to contact Mr.Barry Johnson the fiduciary agent with details below
with the information stated below to validate your claims:
1.FULL NAMES OF BENEFICIARY:
3.DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH:
5.NAME AND ADDRESS OF NEXT OF KIN:
N.B. Your response should be sent to (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>) as email sent to any other address will not be attended to.
Announcer BMW Lottery