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:
- ",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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Carlo Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:17:47 -0800
Subject: ATTN:FUNDS BENEFICIARY
I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER AND THE CONTENTS NOTE. THAT WE RECEIVED YOUR ATM CARD PAYMENT FUNDS THROUGH PAYMENT BONDS FROM GTE CREDIT UNION BANK WHICH IS OUR BANK AND YOU ARE ADVISED TO GET BACK TO THIS OFFICE BY TODAY ONCE YOU RECEIVE OUR FUNDS RELEASE NOTICE.ATM CARD AMOUNT, YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED A SUM OF NINE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED
THOUSAND DOLLARS ($ 9,500,000) AS YOUR CARD AMOUNT PRIZE.YOU WILL NEED CONTACT THIS OFFICE IN CHARGE via E_MAIL IN ORDER TO GET YOUR PRIZE TO YOU.
BANK NAME: GTE CREDIT UNION BANK
BANK ADDRESS:GTE financial website Florida Ave. 33605
BANK PHONE +1 904 385 0219
MR JACK R DAVID
BE INFORMED THAT ONCE WE HEAR FROM YOU TO THIS AS THE FUNDS BENEFICIARY BY TODAY, WE WILL RELEASE YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR ATM CARD PAYMENT COPY IMMEDIATELY,
PLEASE NOTE THIS,YOU ARE ONLY REQUIRED TO FORWARD YOUR FULL NAME AND YOUR ADDRESS AS RECONFIRMATION TO THIS.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3. YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4. YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
THE BANK WILL COMMENCE WITH YOUR PRIZE PAYMENT PROCESS AS SOON AS THEY RECEIVE YOUR PROOF OF IDENTITY OKAY.
NOTE.THE PACKAGE WILL ARRIVE THERE OFFICE TOMORROW MORNING FROM UPS COURIER SERVICE, A COPY OF IT SHALL BE SENT TO YOU VIA EMAIL ATTACHMENT THEN A HARD SHALL BE COURIERED TO YOU AFTER THE BANK HAS REMITTED YOUR ATM CARD PRIZE TO YOU. AT THIS POINT YOU HAVE TO BE CHECKING YOUR EMAIL REGULARLY, ISSUER YOU THAT WITHIN THE NEXT 2-3 DAY FROM NOW, YOUR PRIZE SHALL GET TO YOU.ARE ADVISED TO KEEP YOUR ATM CARD CONFIDENTIAL AS TO AVOID DOUBLE CLAIMING BY A SECOND PARTY.
AGENT MRS CARLO WILLIAMS