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:
- "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)
- "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: "MRS. MARIAM BELLO (HON)" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 10:04:32 -0700
Subject: NEW SWIFT CARD PAYMENT OF YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUNDS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
ALHAJI UMARU MUSA YAR'ADUA (GCFR)
ASO- ROCK, GARKI ABUJA NIGERIA.
DR USMAN SHAMSUDEEN
APPROVED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.fmf.gov.ng/FMF_HMF_Profile.aspx
SUBJECT: NEW SWIFT CARD PAYMENT OF YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUNDS
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR INHERITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT ARE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT.
SECONDLY WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK YOUR ENTIRE ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU. WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THESE HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM MR. PRESIDENT, UMARU YAR'ADUA(GCFR) FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND FBI.
THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, BUT THE MAXIMUM IS TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY CARD PAYMENT CENTER DR USMAN SHAMSUDEEN, AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. CELL PHONE
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD:
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION:
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT USD 11 MILLION 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) TO AVOID ANY HITCHES IN RECEIVING YOUR PAYMENT. FOR ORAL DISCUSSION, EMAIL ME BACK AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FURTHER DIRECTION AND ALSO 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 (ATM-13470) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT
MRS. MARIAM BELLO (HON)
SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENCY