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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447035944779 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447018898797 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr and Mrs Bayford" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2012 00:58:47 +0800
Subject: Mr/Mrs Bayford Donation.
I am Adrian Bayford, I and my wife were Recent winners of the euoro million lottery of ?
148.6 million, and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of 2 Million pounds (?2
million Pounds) to you. We have decided to use you as an aid of development in your
respectful environments and we urge you that 10 percent of this donation should go to
the orphanage and the less privilege. And also you are advise to develop educational
centre to enhance education and provide employments in your environments and by doing
this me and my wife could meet our goal for GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT. You are to contact
Alliance Leicester Bank United Kingdom with the details below for further processing of
your donation amount to your account in your country.
Visit the web pages below for more information.
I have therefore included a Donation Code Number to this message [Bayford/231/2012ACG4]
which should be kept strictly confidential as
you will use it in receiving your donation.
You are to contact the management of ALLIANCE LEICESTER BANK PLC, UNITED KINGDOM with
the code immediately as they have been authorized by me and my wife to wire the funds
to you after you must have opened an account with them and concluded all modalities
associated with the wire transfer process.
Customer Services Department.
Mr. Fred Walters
Address: #Aldermanbury Square,
London,EC2V Town Hall, 7SB, Hendon
London United Kingdom.
Phone number: +447035944779
Fax: (+44) 701-889-8797
Best of luck,
Mr and Mrs Bayford