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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",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: Dr.Norbert Reithofer<email@example.com>
Date: 30 Apr 2019 22:28:56 +0200
Subject: BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
NOTE: If you receive this message in your SPAM/BULK folder, that
is because of the restrictions implemented by your Internet
Provider, we (BMW) urge you to treat it genuinely and kindly move
it to your inbox.
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
5070 WILSHIRE BLVD
LOS ANGELES. CA 90036
NEIGHORHOOD: MID WILSHIRE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Dear BMW Enthusiast,
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of
a brand new 2019 Model, BMW 7 Series Sedan 750LI Car and a Check
of $3,000,000.00 USD (Three Million United States Dollars) which
include IPhone S, and Apple Laptop from international programs
held at the first section of 2019 in the UNITED STATES OF
The selection process was carried out through random selection in
our computerised 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 for more information as regards
procedures to claim your prize.
Agent Name: Mr. Jordan Stones
Agent Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call or Text ( +1 203-409-5986 )
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number
BMW:2551256008/19. You are also advised to provide him with the
under listed information as soon as possible:
1.Name in full.
9.pin code Number BMW:2551256008/19
NOTE: Delivery cost is mandatory in claiming your winning. You
are advised to furnish Mr Jordan Stones, with your correct and
valid details. Also be informed that your grand prize is valued
$3,000,000.00 USD. The only money you will send to him is $550
for the delivery and Approval Payment Certificate from IMF.
THE BMW SALES DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW SALES LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA