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:
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- 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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 13:16:37 -0500
Subject: Attention Beneficiary..
GRANT PAYMENT CENTER (GPC) GLOBAL BANK
It has been brought to our notice that you have not been paid your long overdue grant payment by the UN. This is due to some corrupt hoodlums, and some corrupt government officials who try to divert your money into their own private pocked. We have arranged your payment through International ATM Card Payment Center, this is part of an instruction passed by the United Nations in respect to all over delayed payment.
The Payment Center department will send your ATM Card valued sum of ($8.5 Million United States Dollars). which you are to use in accessing your fund in any ATM MACHINE located any where in the world, and the maximum withdrawal daily limit is US$15000,00. So kindly contact the Payment Center with the below information, Most importantly you are advised to send your full data to him, which includes:
Contact Name: Mr. Johnson Bische
Current Residential Address.......
Direct Phone Number.......
All arrangements have been made to deliver your ATM CARD to your door step, through our reliable courier agent.
Thanks for your co-operation.
DR BELL LORRIS
GRANT PAYMENT CENTER
(GPC) GLOBAL BANK