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:
- "express courier delivery" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: GT Bank <email@example.com>
Reply-To: GT Bank <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:51:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: TRANSACTION ALERT
Â A pleasant greeting to you and your family, my name is Anthony. Internal Auditor with GT BankÂ here in Cotonou. For the past few days i had been trying to reach you but was not able to get in touch with you i had been ill for over 5 weeks now, but thank God i'm now healthy and back to work. Luckily yesterday i was searching through all the files in my office i found your name and email address in one of the envelope i kept in my draw so i decide to write you because i know you most have felt disappointed all this while. I am writing you in regards of your approved fund $16 Million from the (I.M.F) which you are supposed to receive early last year but was delayed the person handling this transfer Mr. James Eze he is not the right person doing this all he plans was to divert this money to his personal bank account but glory be to God almighty he was caught for attempting this so he is arrested and now sent to jail.
My dear you are lucky, i called the bank manager yesterday afternoon to know if your money is still available for you to receive he said yes but the fact is that they can not make the fund online wire transfer to you they discovered that some internet hackers (Fraudsters) are accessing their e-mail account trying to steal from their database. So only they will credit the whole $16M into DEBIT CARD which is very fast and easy for you to use cash your money anytime you want so my dear i agreed with him.
The funds $16M is final credited to an ATM DEBIT CARD for you. It has been registered to an express courier delivery office to deliver to your home. The card is sealed in an envelope the pin# 4 digits number is also in the same envelope together with the card you will find the pin# inside the envelope. Please keep the numbers secret or if you wish you can change the pin# to any pin# of your choice this is for your own safety to avoid any other person accessing on it except anyone you asked to do so. Please take note, i did not let the delivery office to know the content of the envelope i just told them it's a written letter which you need urgently. The reason why i told them this is them not to temper with the card or delay on the delivery to your home address. So please don't try to let them know what is inside the envelope try and contact the delivery office today that you have a letter registered with them and you want a quick delivery.
HERE IS THEIR CONTACT ADDRESS.
DHL International Benin.
Lot No. 23 Patte D'Oie
03 BP 2147
Mr. Thomas Ewing
Please try contact them now as soon as you read this mail from me they assured me that the delivery will take only 48hrs (2) working days. So my dear relax your mind within two days from today you will have your card in your hand and start withdrawing making use of your money.
My reason for this method is for the security and safety of the funds. It is informed that there are A LOTS OF KIDNAPPING, EXTORTION and other untoward criminal activities perpetrated by the criminal elements who have known money from it's intended victims. Hence crediting the sum to an ATM DEBIT CARD would not be noticeable and can be controlled and properly monitored. Moreover, transferring this large amount will raise the government authorities of your country to conduct investigation regarding the legality of the source of this fund.
For the management GT BANK