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"<email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 06:39:31 +0300
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 yo=
u that you have been selected for a prize of a brand new 2016 Model BMW 7 S=
eries Car and a Check of $1,000,000.00usd from international programs held =
on the first section of 2017 in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Model: BMW 7S=
eries Mileage: 5 Transmission: Automatic 6 Speeds The selection process was=
carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection b=
allot 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 t=
he winners. The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and als=
o licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). Th=
is promotional lottery is the 2nd of its kind and we intend to sensitize th=
e public. To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fidu=
ciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim=
your prize. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D BMW LOTTERY DEPAR=
TMENT USA Fiduciary Name: Mrs Betty Rawlings Email: firstname.lastname@example.org =
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Contact her by please providing =
her with your secret pin code X7PWYZ2005 and your Reference Number BMW:4661=
256703/07/17. You are also advised to provide her with the under listed inf=
ormation as soon as possible: 1. Name (in full): 2. Address: 3. Nationality=
: 4. Age: 5. Occupation: 6. Phone/Fax: 7. Country of Residence: 8. Fax [opt=
ional]: 9. Email address: =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
ease you are to provide him with the above listed details as soon as possib=
le so he can begin with the processing of your prize winnings. Note: Do dis=
regard any email as this is a PROMO BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT that was held 15=
th May 2017. Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you fo=
r being part of our promotional program. Mrs. Sarah Moses THE DIRECTOR PROM=
OTIONS BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT.