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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "(ATM CARD CENTRE)" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 16:45:50 -0800
Subject: CONTACT DR FRED SCOTT FOR YOUR (ATM CARD)
NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract payment.
After the Board of directors meeting held in Abuja,we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem.We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific, This is part of an instruction/mandate passed by the Senate in respect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling.
We will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and the maximum daily limit is ($10,000).
However, Note that this method of payment will be granted if it is acceptable to you for the release of your contract entitlement. In View of this, you are advised to contact the Director (CBN, IRD, and ATM) Dr.Fred Scott for further information with the following contact details:
DR FRED SCOTT
DIRECTORS FOR FOREIGN OPERATIONS.
If you like to receive your ATM CARD, Kindly reconfirm your
(1) Your Full Name.
(2) Full residential address.
(3) Phone And Fax Number.
We shall be expecting to receive your information as you have to stop any further communication with anybody or office.
Thanks for your co-operation.