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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "FEDEX DELIVERY COMPANY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 09:36:11 -0300 (BRT)
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
(RESOLUTION PANEL ON CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT)
Our Ref: FGN /SNT/STB
This is to officially inform you that (ATM Cash Card Number
62805120033800XXXXX) has been accredited with your favor. Your Cash Card
Personal Identification Number is 8009XXX.The ATM Card Value is $1, 000,
000, 00 Million USD. You are to provide the below information and email it
to the Executive Secretary with the email stated below.
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 your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world
and in receipt of the above information, your payment will be approve and
pay to you by ATM CARD.
Mr. Mcferrin Phoenix
Provide under listed detail to the claim department Mr. Mcferrin Phoenix
on the email contact address stated above for the immediate delivery of
your fund to your destination within the next 24hrs.Note that the only fee
you are to send to the FedEx Delivery Service is just $300 USD for the
On behalf of the Board kindly, accept our warmest congratulations Kindest
(Sen. Lawrence Nwaeze)
Director Information Department,
ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT.
Note that the only fee you are to send to the FedEx Delivery Service is
just $300 USD for the delivery.