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:
- 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)
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: MRS WEE CHUNG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 21:52:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY,
BANK OF AYUDHYA PCL
1222 Rama III Road,
Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120 Thailand
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR
CONTRACT/INHERITANCE/LOTTERY PROMOTION 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 CONTRACT / INHERITANCE /LOTTERY PAYMENT.
SECONDLY WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE
NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK ALL YOUR ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF
THE FUND TO YOU. WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT
SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISHES TO RECEIVE
YOUR PAYMENT 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 OF THAILAND KINGDOM.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 ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED
DOLLARS PER DAY,SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE
LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT
CENTER AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER,
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD
TO (P.O BOX NOT ACCEPTABLE)
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY
MR. KEVIN LAMBERT. (ENGLISH DEPARTMENT)
INTEGRATED PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
Direct Office Line: +66-8512-47747
Office Fax: (66)7784-6300.
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT
$2,500,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2011.
ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION
WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(s). THIS IS
TO AVOID ANY HITCHES IN FINALIZING YOUR PAYMENT.EMAIL BACK AS SOON AS
YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR
FURTHER DIRECTION IN THIS REGARDS 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 (GOD) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN
CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER.
(MRS WEE CHUNG)
CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT