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)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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: "Dr. Mansur Mukhtar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 10:26:23 -0500
Subject: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND VIA ATM SWIFT CARD ATM-13470
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATION
INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPT, IRD.
ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT.
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE (FMF).
DR MANSUR MUKHTAR
Dear Honorable Beneficiary,
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract / inheritance
file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment
due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in
respect to your contract/ Inheritance payment.
We have received the express mandate and instructions of the president, federal
republic of Nigeria: ALHAJI UMARU YARADUA GCFR together with the EFCC Nigeria, the
Interpol and the FBI to commence the immediate release of your funds through our
swift card payment center. Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with
some non-officials in the bank, as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if
you so wish to receive your payment immediately. Based on the president's
directives, we have concluded arrangements for the release of your payment.
The payment will be concluded through our card center which we will send to you an
ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw you contract/inheritance funds in any ATM
MACHINE CENTER in the world with a maximum of $4000 to $5000 United States Dollars
daily. However, Note that this method of payment will be granted if it is acceptable
to you for the release of your contract/inheritance entitlement. After the Board of
director's meeting held in Abuja, we have resolved in finding a solution to your
problem. We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER in
Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific; This is part of an instruction/mandate
passed by the Senate in respect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling.
And also the Nigerian Government is using this means to rewards all the citizens of
the United states and all part of Europe including Asia, Australia, south America,
Antarctica e.t.c and all those who have lost their funds in either scam, or an
uncompleted business, or otherwise. You should know that if you are interested to
receive your ATM card, which will be credited with $11,000,000.00USD,United States
Dollars before it is been sent to you direct to your doorstep through any Courier
Service of your choice. Kindly get back to me with the following information below
so I can start arrangement on how to get your Atm Card shipped to you
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Full residential address:
(3) Phone number:
(6) A scanned copy of your international passport or drivers license
This message is supported by the Nigerian Government, After you might have started
making use of your ATM card, you can reward my firm one way or the other you know
TAKE NOTE: That you are warned to stop further communications with any other
person(s) or office(s) different from the staff of the ATM Card payment center or DR
MANSUR MUKHTAR to avoid delays in receiving your contract/inheritance payment
This measure is intended to stop the impostors you have erroneously been dealing
with. You are to adhere strictly to our code of conduct, which is (ATM-13470) which
you will have to indicate when contacting the card center, by using it as your
For further clarification you can visit our website for more information Website:
Thanks for your co-operation.
DR MANSUR MUKHTAR
DIRECTOR FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE