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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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. Sarah Moses" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:59:32 +0500
Subject: BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT!!
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.
Dear BMW Enthusiast,
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a brand new 2015 Model BMW 7 Series Car and a Check of $1,000,000.00usd from international programs held on the first section of 2016 in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Model: BMW 7Series
Transmission: Automatic 6 Speeds
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection ballot system from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world which yours and nine others were selected as the winners.
The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). This promotional lottery is the 2nd of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public.
To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT USA
Fiduciary Name: Mrs Betty Rawlings
Contact her by please providing her with your secret pin code X7PWYZ2005 and your Reference Number BMW:4661256703/07/13. You are also advised to provide her with the under listed information as soon as possible:
1. Name (in full):
7. Country of Residence:
8. Fax [optional]:
9. Email address:
Please you are to provide him with the above listed details as soon as possible so he can begin with the processing of your prize winnings.
Note: Do disregard any email as this is a PROMO BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT that was held 1st Aug 2016.
Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Mrs. Sarah Moses
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT.