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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",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 dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: BMW Promotional Program <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 13:24:17 +0000
Subject: CONGRATULATION AS YOUR EMAIL JUST GOT LISTED IN THE BMW AWARD LIST
*BMW of North America300 Chestnut Ridge RoadWoodcliff Lake, NJ 07675United
States of America.Dear Winner,This is to inform you that you have been
selected for a prize of a brand new 2021 BMW X6 and a Check of Three
Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($3,500,000.00) from the
international balloting programs held on the 2nd section in the United
States of America.Description of prize vehicle;The X6 comes with BMW's
Drive infotainment system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port and a
10-year subscription to BMW Assist eCall, which can automatically notify
first responders after a collision. For 2020, the X6 comes standard with
enhanced USB and Bluetooth features, including an additional microphone,
Bluetooth sync for a second phone, library browsing via Bluetooth, voice
control for contacts and music and a Mobile Office system. Available
features include leather seats, a surround-view camera system, navigation,
a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, a head-up display, a panoramic
moonroof, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, active
park assist and lane departure warning. The Drive infotainment system takes
a bit of getting used to, but is fairly straightforward and works well,
reviewers agree. The audio and climate controls are also clearly labeled
and easy to reach.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
in which you were selected. However, no tickets were sold but all email
addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and
privacy.The BMW Lottery is approved by the United States 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:::: Michael ThompsonE-mail:: email@example.com
<firstname.lastname@example.org>Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code
number BMW:245125HGDY03/23.You are also advised to provide him with the
under listed information as soon as possible:1. Name In Full2. Address3.
Nationality:5. Sex :6. Occupation7. Direct Phone8. Present Country9. Email
address10. Pin code Number BMW:245125HGDY03/23Please, you are to provide
him with the above details as soon as possible so he can begin with the
processing of your prize winner.Congratulations once again from all our
staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.MR. WILLIAM
BENTHE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONSBMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENTUNITED STATES OF AMERICA.*