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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Susan Benjamin." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:28:41 -0500
Subject: Congratulation Dear BMW Winner,
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07675
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/BULK folder, that is
because of the restrictions implemented by your Internet Service
Provider, we (BMW) urge you to treat it genuinely.
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a
brand new 2016 BMW X3 and a Check of One Million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars ($1,500,000.00) from the international balloting
programs held on the 2nd section in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.
Description of prize vehicle;
The X3 comes with BMW's iDrive infotainment system, satellite radio,
Bluetooth, a USB port and a 10-year subscription to BMW Assist eCall,
which can automatically notify first responders after a collision. For
2016, the X3 comes standard with enhanced USB and Bluetooth features,
including an additional microphone, Bluetooth sync for a second phone,
library browsing via Bluetooth, voice control for contacts and music
and a Mobile Office system. Available features include leather seats,
a surround-view camera system, navigation, a Harman Kardon
surround-sound audio system, a head-up display, a panoramic moonroof,
front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, active park
assist and lane departure warning. The iDrive infotainment system
takes a bit of getting used to, but is fairly straightforward and
works well, reviewers agree. The audio and climate controls are also
clearly labeled and easy to reach.
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our
computerized email selection system (ESS) from a database of over
250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world
which you were selected. However, no tickets were sold but all email
addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation
The BMW Lottery is approved by the United States Gaming Board and also
Licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).
To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary
claims department for more information as regards procedures to the
claim of your prize.
Name: Mr. Mike James
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number
You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information
as soon as possible:
1. Name In Full :
2. Residential Address :
3. Nationality :
4. Age :
6. Occupation :
7. Direct Phone :
8. Present Country :
9. Email address :
10. pin code Number BMW:245125HGDY03/23
Please, you are to provide him with the above details as soon as
possible so he can begin with the processing of your prize winnings.
Congratulations again from all our staff and thank you for being part
of our promotional program.
Mrs. Susan Benjamin.
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA