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:
- 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)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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!
- 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: "Mrs. Elizabeth Moore" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 May 2016 20:56:32 -0400
Subject: Reference Number: BMW: 7753460403/14
THE INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS
PROMOTION DEPARTMENT OF
THE BMW AUTOMOBILE COMPANY.
Reference Number: BMW:7753460403/14
!!!CONGRATULATION YOU ARE A WINNER!!!.
The Board of Directors, members of staff and the International Awareness Promotion Department of the BMW Automobile Company, wishes to congratulate you on your success as the STAR PRIZE WINNER in this years' BMW Automobile International Awareness Promotion (IAP) held on 17th May 2016. This makes you the proud owner of a brand new BMW YEAR: 2015, MODEL: V12 Sport Saloon car and check of $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). The car comes with a special BMW Insurance Cover for one whole year, that is, till the next promotion in 2017.
It also comes with a one year warranty and FREE repairs at any BMW AUTOMOBILE depot or service station worldwide. The selection process was carried out through random selection in our Computerized Email Selection System (C.E.S.S.) from a database of over a million email addresses from the world wide web. Each email address was attached to a ticket number and your email address with ticket number: 5647600545188 and serial number: BMWP/556543450906 was randomly selected as the star prize winner amongst other consolation prize winners. For you to collect your prizes, kindly fill the verification form below and send it to the Claims Manager,MR BRENT WILSON, of our claims department through email, stating your receipt of this notification. He has been mandated to offer you assistance and facilitate the urgent delivery of your prizes.
MR BRENT WILSON,
BMW Claims Department
1.) FULL NAME: 2.) AGE: 3.) SEX: 4.) ADDRESS:
5.) ZIP/POSTAL CODE: 6.) STATE/PROVINCE: 7.) COUNTRY: 8.) PHONE: 9.)
OCCUPATION/POSITION: 10.) EMAIL ADDRESS: 11.) TICKET
NUMBER: 12.) SERIAL NUMBER:
Congratulations once more, and keep trusting BMW Automobile for top quality automobiles.
THE BMW INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS PROMOTION
COPYRIGHT ©2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED