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:
- "contact the atm card center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROBERT S. MUELLER" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 13:18:30 -0700
Subject: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
Customers Service Hours/Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday To Saturday:
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations who
are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes those
of Lottery/Gambling, Contract and Inheritance. Through our Fraud Monitory
Unit we have also noticed that over the past you have been transacting with
some impostors and fraudsters who have been impersonating the likes of Prof.
Soludo of the Central Bank Of Nigeria , Mr. Patrick Aziza, Frank, Anderson ,
none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks, Kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of
FedEx, Ibrahim Sule, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen and some impostors claiming to be
The Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet
Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) formerly known as the Internet Fraud Complaint
Center (IFCC) of how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these
impostors. As a result of this we hereby advise you to stop communication
with any one not referred to you by us.
We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment
totaling $6,100,000.00 be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card
with a maximum withdrawal limit of $5,000 a day which is powered by Visa
Card and can be used anywhere in the world were you see a Visa Card Logo on
the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). We have advised that this should be the
only way at which you are to receive your payment because it is more
guaranteed, since over $5 billion was lost on fake check year two (2) 2008.
We guarantee 100% receipt of your payment, because we have perfected
everything in regards to the release of your $6.1 million United States
Dollars to be 100% risk free and free from any hitches as it is our duty to
protect you. (This is as a result of the mandate from US Government to make
sure all debts owed to people which includes Inheritance, Contract,
Gambling/Lottery etc are been cleared for the betterment of the current
economic status of the nation and its citizens as he bas always believed
(Our Time for Change has come because Change can happen)
Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS website to
confirm people like you who have received their payment successfully.
Name: Racheal Frank: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011070 (www.ups.com)
Name: Zaidi Mohammed: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011025 (www.ups.com)
Name: Stephen Medaris: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011089
Name: Seddek Farhard: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011098 (www.ups.com)
To redeem your fund you are hereby advised to contact the ATM Card Center via email for their requirement to proceed and procure your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order on your behalf which will cost you $250 only nothing more and no hidden fees as everything else has been taken cared of by the Federal Government including taxes,custom paper and clearance duty so all you will ever need to pay is $250 only.
Name: Mr Thomas Cole
Do contact Mr Thomas Cole of the ATM Card Center via his contact details above and furnish him with your details as listed below, calling him on his hotline will be faster than to email him:
Your full Name:
Your full Address (where you will like your ATM CARD to be sent to):
A scan copy of your Identity:
On contacting him with your details your files would be updated and he will be sending you the payment information in which you will use in making payment of $250 via Western Union Money Transfer for the procurement of your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order. After which the delivery of your ATM card will be effected to your designated home address without any further delay, extra fee or any authority raising eyebrow.
Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 24 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a 100% money back guarantee if you do not receive your ATM CARD Shippment Confirmation within the next 24hrs after you have made the payment for shipping.
Once again we are so sure of you receiving your payment at no any other cost as we have taking it upon our duty to monitor everything in other to cub cyber crime that is perpetrated by those impostors.
Thanks and hope to read from you soon.
ROBERT S. MUELLER,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON , D.C. 20535