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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +2348028264968 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: "Dr. DAVID MARK" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 21:29:53 +0100
Subject: ATM swift card payment notification
OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF SENATE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT PAYMENT)
ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your inheritance file
and found out that why you have not received your payment is because you have
not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect of your inheritance
payment.Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the none
officials in the bank your entire attempt to secure the release of the fund to
you. We wish to advise you that such an illegal act like these have to stop if
you wish to receive your payment this week since we have decided to bring a
solution to your problem. Right now we have arranged your payment through our
swift card payment center Asia pacific that is the latest instruction from MR.
PRESIDENT, ALHAJI UMARU YAR?ADUA (GCFR) FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. AND EFCC
NIGERIA As well the INTERPOL and FBI.This card center will send you an ATM CARD
which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM MACHINE in any part of the
world, but the maximum is twenty thousand dollars per day, so if you like to
email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And also send the following information:
1. Your full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address where you want them to send the atm card
4. Your age and current occupation
5. Attach copy of your identification
The ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER has been mandated to issue out $4,000,000.00 as
part payment for this fiscal year 2009. Also for your information, you have to
stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid
any hitches in receiving your Payment. For oral discussion, call and email me
back as soon as you receive this important message for further direction and
also update me on any development from the above-mentioned office.Note that
because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is
(ATM-822) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card center by
using it as your subject. Call me on the above number immedaitely.
YOUR PAYMENT AGENT,
Dr. DAVID MARK
(Federal Republic of Nigeria