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.
- 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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rachael Adams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 21:45:57 -0700
Subject: BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
5070 WILSHIRE BLVD
LOS ANGELES. CA 90036
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
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.
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a brand new 2020/2021 Model BMW 5 Series Car and a Check of $1,500,000.00 USD on the 4th section of the International Balloting Programs held in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Description of prize vehicle;Model: 530iA Color (exterior): Metallic Silver Mileage: 5 Transmission: Automatic 6 Speed
Options: Cold weather package, premium package, fold down rear seats w/ski bag, am fm stereo with single in dash compact disc player.
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 the claim of your prize.
Name: Mr Joe Holland
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code Number: BMW:255125HGDY03/23.
You are also advised to reconfirm the under listed information for review as soon as possible:
1. Names In Full :
2. Residential Address :
3. Nationality :
4. Age :
5. Sex :
6. Occupation :
7. Direct Phone :
8. Present Country :
9. Email Address :
10. Pin Code Number BMW:255125HGDY03/23
Please you are to provide the above listed details as soon as possible so the processing of your prize winnings can be effected.
Congratulations again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
Mrs. Rachael Adams
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA