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:
- 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rocketmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 14:33:06 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: CONTACT ATM CARD PAYING CENTER
YOUR ATM IS AVALIABLE NOW.
ATM Card Number 4278763100030014
HELLO MY GOOD FRIEND,
NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT OF (USD$1.5m) ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS THROUGH SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC, 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 UNITED STATES DOLLARS PER DAY.SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND IN THIS WAY,PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY CONTACTING ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER DEPARTMENT AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS LISTED BELOW.
contact person: Dr.frank johnson
Reconfirm this information to them;
1. YOUR FULL NAME===================2. YOUR COUNTRY====================3. YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS============4. YOUR HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER======5. YOUR OFFICE TELEPHONE============6. YOUR CELL PHONE==================7. YOUR NERAEST INTERANTIONAL AIRPORT8. YOUR COMPANY NAME===============9. A COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT======8. PROFESSION,AGE AND MARITAL STATUS=
Rev Alexander Joshua
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