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:
- 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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "BMW Automobile Company" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 10:28:51 -0700
Subject: BMW 5 Series car
The BMW Automobile Company, congratulate you as one of our Ten (10) Star Prize Winner, in our 2010 International Awareness Promotion (IAP) held in Madrid. This makes you an owner of a brand new BMW 5 Series car.
Contact him, with your,
Serial No BMWP/556543450906 and Ref No: BMW: 2551256003/23.
Also provide listed information below:
Names / Address / Age / Sex / Occupation / Phone no / Country .
Have You Won Before?
Dr. Maria Jose Mayors
Note: This email is confidential and is intended solely for the person or entity that 'If you are not the own this email address, and has received this message in error, we inform you that it is the content of reserved Unauthorized use is prohibited by law and, Therefore, please notify us by e - mail