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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million 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)
- "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: "BRAIDE AKINGBOLA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 08:45:13 -0700
Subject: YOUR MUCH AWAITED PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract filepresently on my desk and found out that you have not received your payment dueto your lack of co-operation giving to you in respect to your contractpayment.After the Board meeting held in Abuja,we have resolved in finding asolution to this problem.We have arranged your paymentthrough our SWIFT CARDPAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America,Africa and Asia Pacific.This is part of anion/mandate passed by the Senate in respect to overseas contract payment anddebt re-scheduling.And also the Nigerian Government is using this mean torewards all the citizens of the United states and all part of Europe includingAsia,Australia, South America, Antartica e.t.c and all those who have lost their funds in either scam, or an uncompletedbusiness, or otherwise.
If you are interested to receive your ATM card which willbe credited with the sum of five million dollars before it is been sent to youthen you are to contact us immediatelyWe will credit and send to you this ATM CARD approved in your name which youwill use to withdraw your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and themaximum weekly limit is also stated alongside the documents that will come alongwith the card. And also note that the Nigerian Government has taken care of theshipping fee of your ATM card.
If you like to receive your fund this way,Kindly contact me with the followinginformations below.
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Full residential address:
(5) personal identification.
If the informations requested is sent we will direct you to the dhl couriercompany to contact Mr John Anderson for the delivery of this card and if he isrequesting for another shipping fee, You will have to report him to meimmediately. When you receive your ATM card, you have to alert me so that we cangive you process of how to activate and make use of. After you might have started making use of your ATM card, you can reward myfirm one way or the other you knows best.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Director(Swift Card Payment Center)