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.
- 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.
- +447045700677 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: CUSTOMER SERVICE <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 17:21:25 +0300
THE BMW AUTOMOBILE PROMO
Dear E-mail Owner,
You are receiving this message because you are a Winner of 300,000 Pounds from
BMW Automobile Online Lottery game.
A random email balloting system selected your email address amongst a total of
five (5) winners without the sale of any tickets.
Claim requirements are as follows:
(1) Your full names
(2) Contact Address
Contact Mr. Thomas Hillary on (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tel: +4470457 00677
You will be furnished with details on how to receive your prize as soon as we
receive your response to this mail. Be sure to check all incoming mail folders
including your junk folder for subsequent mails from us.
NB: You are to reply directly to this emails (email@example.com) because any
mail sent to any other email address will not be attended to.
Annoucer For BMW Automobile Promo.