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:
- "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)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "A.T.M Delivery(Ministry Of Finance)" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 13:02:34 +0100
Subject: RE:ATM CARD IS AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP.
The Director of Operations
International Credit Settlement
Central Bank of Nigeria
We have been informed that your outstanding inheritance funds with the Federal Government are yet to be received due to non-fulfillment of the legal required obligations as approved in respect of your inheritance.
On this faithful reconciliation, we discovered that you've been dealing with none officials of the bank and agencies on the attempt to secure the release of your inheritance funds. We wish to bring to your notice that we are neck deep to check this gross misconduct by this syndicates who slight down our dignities to international communities. With the combine effort of the United Nation Anti-crime commission to alleviate and redeem the image and past wounds of some foreigners and firms who were defrauded of their money on the course of trying to receive their payment.
The Federal Government is already compensating some individuals and firms with substantial evidence that their money was false fully collected from them. The sanity at present is $100,000 to each of those victims. "This is a secret" We have decided to bring a solution to your own problem. Right now we have arranged your payment through our swift card payment center Asia pacific, which is the test instruction by the new elected president of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This card center will send you an Atm card which would be used to withdraw your money from any Atm machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is $2,500 Only per day, so if you would like to receive your fund this way let us know by contacting the card payment center and also sending the following information:
1. Your full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM card to (P.O box not
4. Your age and current occupation
Integrated payment department
The Atm card payment center has been mandated to issue US$8.300,000.00 to you as part payment for this fiscal year 2010. Also for your information you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s). This is to avoid any further problem in finalizing your payment. Email me back as soon as you receive this email for further direction in this regard and update me on any development from the above-mentioned office.
Note: that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (991-201D) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card center.
(Mr Sadiq Alman)
Chief auditor to the president.