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:
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- ",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)
- 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: "Mr Gary Robinson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 00:45:33 +0200
Subject: Bmw Lottery Commission Notification
Thanks for your Email, my name is Calvin Patrick email@example.com , the fiduciary agent assigned to assist you in the claims process of your winnings, I am in receipt of your completed verification form which I also have your full delivery information stated below for your confirmation.
Having done all the proper verification exercise I hereby confirm that your winning details sent to this office corresponds with the record on my file. I therefore wish to congratulate you on behalf of the BMW Lottery Inc. and to state that you are a lucky person to have emerged a winner in the on going 2019 BMW Lottery Promotions.
Your email address with ticket Number BMW-2551256003/23 was randomly selected along with 10 others from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn across the continent, each email address was attached to a ticket number and yours emerged as the number 7th winner of the prize of a Brand New BMW 7 series Car and a Check of $1,500,000.00.
Finally kindly re-confirm the following information
1) Your Full Name:
2) Your Full Address:
3) Your Contact Telephone and Fax No:
3) Your Profession, Age and Marital Status:
4) Any Valid Form of Your Identification/Driven License:
As soon as we receive the above mentioned information, your payment will be processed and released to you without any delay. This notification email should be your confidential property to avoid impersonators claiming your fund. You are required to provide the above information for your Claim to take place.
We Look Forward To Serving You Better.
Dr. Hamid Haqparwar,
Director Sales and Marketing
BMW Auto Mobile Company