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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- +2348035698629 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mike Walkerman" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 01:11:51 +0200
Subject: Dear Beneficiary..............
I hope this mail meets you in a vital health and a good state of mind.This may come to you as a surprise but it is for real.After and evaluation with computer permutation and manual records,we have found out that you are among the 50 people that have legally and creditably used ATM and credit card effectively.
Thus,being the CEO of SWIFT ATM CARD WITH VISA LOGO , a corporation that works with ATM service providers all over the world,We have decided to reward you in utmost good faith with a brand new ATM card with visa logo that contains $1,500,000(One million five hundred thousand dollars).With this ATM card you can withdraw a minimum of $10,000 (ten thousand U.S Dollars) and a maximum of $25,500 (twenty five thousand five hundred U.S Dollars) everyday.Also,this ATM card gives you an opportunity win a huge sum of $10,000,000 (Ten million U.S Dollars) which will be given to
just 10 people courtesy our ATM card raffle draw at the end of this month.
Immediately you get this mail,contact Mr. SCOTT GILL Who is in charge of the ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT with your:
DRIVERS LINCENSE/INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT
Send the information above to him through these-mail:
Phone Number: +234-803-569-8629
Immediately you send him the information above..He will let you know the next step to take.Urgent response is required to enable a speedy delivery of your supercharged ATM card at your door step SOON.
Mr. Mike Walkerman
CEO SWIFT ATM CARD WITH VISA LOGO©