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:
- ",000,000" (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!
Fraud email example:
From: "Bmw Automobile Company" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 11:19:28 +0100
Subject: Congratulations lucky Winner! BMW AUTOMOBILE PROMO
REF: Congratulations lucky winner!!!
This is to inform you that your email address has been selected as one of the lucky winners in the second batch of the on-going BMW Automobile Company International award promo proudly sponsored and organized by BMW Group in conjunction with Microsoft Corporation, London Branch. Therefore, you have been awarded the sum of One Million Great British Pounds sterling only (£1,000,000.00 GBP).
HOW DID YOU WIN?
Lucky winners do not have to purchase a ticket to participate in this lottery program, all email was selected from the Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. This promotion was set-up to encourage the active usage of the BMW AUTOMOBILE MACHINE®. Hence we do believe that with your winning prize, you will continue to be active and patronize to the BMW AUTOMOBILE MACHINE®
The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). To begin the processing of your prize you are to fill the verification form below and contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.
VERIFICATION FORM. (ASAP)
(1) Your Full Names:
(2) Your Tel/Mobile Number:
(3) Your Nationality:
(4) Current Country:
(5) Your contact Address:
PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR PREFERRED CLAIMS OPTION
BY TICKING ONE OF THE OPTIONS LISTED BELOW
(7)Bank Wired Transfer:
(8)Delivery By Courier:
BMW AUTOMOBILE DISPATCH UNIT(CLAIM DEPARTMENT)
CONTACT PERSON: SIR. JAMES BARRY
Mrs. Patricia Garcia
NOTE: To help us proceed with your claims you must keep away this information from public (Third party) to avoid unwarranted abuse of the program and unauthorized individuals claims.
BMW® 2011.©BMW Automobile. All rights reserved.