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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Oceanic Bank International Plc" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 13:07:42 -0800
Subject: Re: Immediate ATM DEBIT Cash Card Payment Notification.
From the desk of:
Mr. John Anderson
Director of ATM Payment
International Settlement Dept.
Oceanic bank international plc
Date: 23/ 03/ 2010.
Re: Immediate ATM DEBIT Cash Card Payment Notification:
This is to inform you that after the meeting of oceanic bank
international plc board of director , we received a message from the
office of the presidency with letter headed explaining that we shall
programmed your payment through an ATM quick cash card on your name.
Sir/Ma additional to that, we did not have your personal information such
as your home contact address, your direct telephone number, your
nearest airport in your country, all the same your full name for us to
crosscheck with the name we have in our office to avoid diversionary
Sir/Ma, soon as we receive all this vital information request on your
favor, I personal will signal you the type of ATM QUICK CASH CARD we
have on table for you to choose your choice before we start programming
the CARD on your name as the instruction has been noted.
Take care of your self and feel free to ask any question.
Note That Because Of Impostors, We Hereby Issued You Our Code Of Conduct, Which Is (ATM-202) So You Have To Indicate This Code When Contacting The Card Center By Using It As Your Subject.
Wait For Your Expedite Response.
Yours In Service,
Mr. John Anderson
lnternational Settlement Dept.
Oceanic bank international plc.
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