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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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.
- 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!
Fraud email example:
From: Stefan Quandt <email@example.com>
Date: 07 Dec 2020 17:44:19 +0100
Subject: Dear BMW Enthusiast,
Dear BMW Enthusiast,
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of
a brand new 2020 Model, BMW 7 Series Car and a Check of $800,
000.00 United States Dollars from international programs held at
the second section of 2020 in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
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 for more information as regards
procedures to claim your prize.
Name: Mr.Bernard Arnault
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number
BMW:2551256003/23. You are also advised to provide him with the
under listed information as soon as possible:
1.Name in full.
7. Present Country.
8. Email address.
9. pin code Number BMW:2551256003/23
THE BMW SALES DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW SALES LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
+1 (661) 235-5553