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:
- "22 garden close, stamford" (address often used in fake lottery scams)
- "the bmw automobile company" (no such lottery exists)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "claims 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)
- 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.
- +447031878587 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: The Ultimate Driving Machine <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2012 00:55:01 +0800
Subject: THE LOTTERY DEPARTMENT BMW
THE LOTTERY DEPARTMENT BMW
22 GARDEN CLOSE, STAMFORD,
LINCS, PE9 2YP, LONDON
This is to inform you that your email have been selected as a winner of a
cash prize of 500.000.00 GBP (Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds)
from our International programs held this year 2012.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Centre. BMW
AUTOMOBILE COMPANY INTL PROGRAMS Award prize must be claimed no later
than 93 days from date of Draw Notification. Any Prize not claimed within
this period will be forfeited.
FILL THE BELOW FORM CORRECTLY AND RETURN BACK TO US VIA E-MAIL.
1. FULL NAMES:_______________________________
2. FULL ADDRESS:_____________________________
3. YOUR AGE:_________________________________
4. YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE:________________
5. STATE OF ORIGIN:__________________________
7. YOUR OCCUPATION:__________________________
8. SEX :_____________________________________
9. MARITAL STATUS:___________________________
10.WINNING EMAIL ADDRESS:____________________
11. YOUR MOBILE NUMBER:______________________
I ________________ HEREBY
DECLARE THAT THE ABOVE DATA ARE TRUE. THAT MY CLAIMS AGENT SHALL ACT AS A
FACILITATOR IN THE DELIVERY OF THE TOTAL FUND TO ME.
(YOUR FULL NAMES)_____________________
Congratulations once again from the entire staff of the BMW AUTOMOBILE
COMPANY PROMO TEAM ENGLAND.Please you are to provide the above
Information Lottery details as soon as Possible so that he can begin with the
processing of your winning prize immediately.
Congratulations once again from all our staffs and the director BMW.
I want to Congratulate You In Advance and Please do not forget to help the
poor in the society when BMW Automobile Company makes you a beneficiary of
their world of wealth.
DR. JAMES EVANS
Chief Executive (CEO),
BMW Automobile Company, London, Europe