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 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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- +447005934945 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447035928180 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?BMW=AE_HQ_Germany_Plant?= <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 05:22:22 +0100 (CET)
Subject: REFERENCE NUMBER:BMW:25513500DS
BMW® HQ Germany Plant:Heidemannstr. 164 DE-80939 MUNCHEN Germany.
From:THE BMW® (UK) Ltd Registered Office:
Ellesfield Avenue, Bracknell,
Berkshire, RG12 8TA.
The Board of Directors, members of staff and the International
Awareness Promotion Department of the BMW Automobile Company, wishes
to congratulate you on your success as one of the 10th STAR PRIZE
WINNER in this Year BMW Automobile International Awareness
Promotion (IAP) held on TUESDAY 2ND MARCH,2010 in Berkshire.
This makes you the proud owner of a brand new BMW 2009 X6 35iM(2009
modern) and a cash prize of £,750,000.00 GBP (seven hundred and fifty
thousand Great British pounds).The car comes with a special BMW
Insurance Cover for one whole year, that is, till the next promotion
It also comes with a one year warranty and FREE repairs at any BMW
AUTOMOBILE depot or service station worldwide. The selection process
was carried out through random selection in our Computerized Email
Selection System (C.E.S.S.) from a database of over a million email
addresses from the world wide web drawn from all the continents of the
For you to claim your prizes, kindly contact prize consultant BARR.
ALAN ROBERT through email, stating your receipt of this notification.
He has been mandated to offer you legal assistance and facilitate the
urgent delivery of your prizes directly to you.Please reply to
BMW Claims Manager
TEL: (+44) 703-592-8180.
Fax: +44 7005-934-945
You are also advised to provide him with the under listed
1. FULL NAME:
5. RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS:
8. ZIP CODE:
9. OCCUPATION / POSITION HELD:
We ask that you to keep this award personal,till your claims have
been processed and your funds remitted to you. This is a part of our
security measures to avoid double claiming or unwarranted
participants or importer's, taking advantage of the situation.
Congratulations once more, and keep trusting BMW Automobile for top
Engr.Ms. Emello Schachter
DIRECTOR OF PROMOTIONS,
INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS PROMOTIONS,
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.
THE BMW INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS PROMOTION
COPYRIGHT ©2010. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED