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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- 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.
- +2348057338231 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: ATM PAYMENT OFFICE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 03:36:32 +0800 (MYT)
Subject: Compensation Notification (ATM-Y2K9)
Office Of The Senate President,
International credit Settlement,
ATM Compensation Funds
Attention: Category "A" Beneficiary.
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract/ inheritance file and found out that your among the lucky beneficiaries of the ATM Compensation Funds and why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect to your ATM Compensation Funds and Contract/inheritance payment.
Kindly re-confirm the following:
1) Your Full Name:
3) Your Address:
4) Profession, Age and Marital Status:
Kindly Contact This Office, the Atm Payment Department Account Officer
Dr Alexander Duke
Diamond Bank Plc
This office has been mandated to issue to you an ATM card valued at $1.2m as initial payment for this first fiscal year 2009.
Note: Because of impostors, we hereby issue you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-Y2K9) so you have to indicate this code when contacting this office by using it as your subject.
Alhaji Usman Aziz
International Credit Settlement
Office Of The Senate President,
Federal Republic Of Nigeria
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