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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million 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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Smith Gochett" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2018 11:44:58 +0200
Subject: NOTIFICATION OF YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH ATM MASTER CARD
Attention : Dear Beneficiary.
This is regard your funds which is pending in UNITED STATE OF AMERICAN, I have to explain to you regard this funds reason is directed to you,We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various part of west Africa countries which includes(NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO,GHANA CAMERON AND SENEGAL)and they are all in our custody here in USA washington Dc. We have been able to recover so much money from these scam artists.The United Nation Anti-Crime commission and the United state Government have ordered the money recovered from the scammers to be shared among 100 lucky people around the globe.
This email is been directed to you because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and a computer hard disk in our custody here in USA.you are therefore being compensated with $2 Million Dollars.we have also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers,bank officials,lottery Agent who asked money for transfer or want you to be the next of kin of such fund which does not exist.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of $2 Million,we have arranged your payment through our swift card payment center. please if you are ready to proceed on this transcation i want you to get back to me so that i will get all the necessary document ready to deliver this funds.
My Assurance is that as soon as you respond to me and send your deliver information,I will make all documents ready for the deliver of your ATM with your tracking number so that you can monitor your package on transit before its arrival.
CONFIRM YOUR DETAIL BELOW TO AVOID WRONG DELIVERY OF YOUR FUND WORTH $2 MILLION DOLLAR.
1. Full Name...........................
2. Residential Address.....................
3. Phone Number............................
4. Fax Number...............................
Please reconfirm the above address to avoid any wrong delivery of your funds.
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.
Waiting for your positive responds.
God bless you and your loving family
Mr. Smith Gochett.