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:
- ",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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Mr.Harold Athman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:53:04 -0700
Subject: BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT!!!
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a Brand New 2018 BMW X5 SUV and a Cheque of $5,500,000.00USD from the international balloting programs held on the 2nd section in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.
Description of prize vehicle; Functions such as BMW Gesture Control, BMW Laserlight or Remote Control Parking again set benchmarks as pioneering innovations in the BMW X5 SUV. In addition,Superb comfort and support from the seats, which are well-suited to long-distance driving. The X5's suspension is tuned on the firm side, yet it's still capable of absorbing most road imperfections. From time to time, the ride gets choppy on rough pavement, but this is the exception and not the rule.The diesel-powered X5 xDrive35d model delivers the best combination of performance and efficiency.
The BMW X5 also extends the sheer driving pleasure typical of BMW to include the enjoyment of being driven. Passengers who occupy the luxurious seats in the rear enjoy a generous amount of space. While the active chassis technology of the Executive Drive Pro option offers a driving experience of unrestricted comfort and dynamism in every situation, the features of the ambient light design and innovative comfort and entertainment functions ensure a supreme level of relaxed travelling pleasure.
Each of the BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol and diesel engines of the BMW X5 is an expression of the dedicated development work of the BMW EfficientDynamics engineers. For overwhelming performance and ground-breaking efficiency. As a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the BMW X5 iPerformance with the BMW EfficientDynamics technology eDrive (BMW 740e/Le iPerformance) brings together the best of two worlds. The result is substantially lower fuel consumption with similarly reduced emissions.
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.
The BMW Lottery is approved by the British 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 in the United States for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number BMW:255175HGDY03/23.As the subject of your email for swift response
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:255175HGDY03/23
11. Passport photograph:
Name: Mr Harold Athman
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/JUNK folder, that is because of the restrictions implemented by your Internet Service Provider, we (BMW) urge you to treat it genuinely.
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA