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)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million us dollars" (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. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "DIAMOND BANK ATM SWIFT CARD." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 04:08:21 +0330
Subject: DIAMOND BANK ATM SWIFT CARD.
Diamond Bank Plc.
ATM International credit Settlement.
Directorate of International Payment.
This is to officially notify you about your Fund that was suppose to be
rendered to you via numerous ways i.e,Courier Companies,Western Union Money
Transfers and Banks.Due to this lost of Funds of your's which was suppose to
be given to you but failed to.So in this case,a beneficial meeting was held
on the 29th of March 2010 at the World Bank in Switzerland,which top
officials and Central Bank Governors from different countries in the world
were present at the meeting.Which they discussed on how your Fund can be
given to you without any loss at this time,which you have to stop any
further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any
hitches in receiving your ATM payment.In conclusion at the meeting,The
President of World Bank Mr.Robert B.Zoellick has strictly authorized 6 Banks
in the World to deliver all Funds through courier companies.Fund which is
truly $2.8 Million Us Dollars to all beneficiaries in various countries in
the world as an ATM SWIFT CARD.Below are the authorized Banks;
Caja De Madrid/Madrid/Spain.
Diamond Bank Plc/Lagos/Nigeria.
Banco di Santo Spirito/Rome/Italy.
Bank of NewYork Mellon Corp/NewYork/USA.
Each of this Banks are to distribute 350 ATM SWIFT CARDS to every
beneficiaries in the World that are to receive their compensation ATM
CARD,so this Bank(Diamond Bank Plc) will send you your ATM CARD which you
will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the
world,but the maximum withrawal is $50,000 Usd per day while minimum
withrawal is $20,000 Usd per day.Note that this ATM CARD of your's have been
activated and a security pin code number will be issued to you from this
Bank as soon as you receive your Card for a safer withrawal.Please contact
the ATM CARD payment department Manager Mr.Albert Gilton by sending your
informations to him for an immediate response.Contacts of Mr.Albert Gilton
are as below;
Mr.Albert Gilton.Director of ATM payment department Diamond Bank Plc.
Office Telephone Line:+234-805-187-3803.
NOTE:FOR NON APPEARANCES,DO NOT CONTACT MR.ALBERT GILTON, IF YOU CAN NOT PAY
FOR THE SHIPPING OF YOUR ATM CARD.
Your Full Name:...............
Contact Home/Cell Phone:...................
A Scan Copy of your Identity:.......................
Please be notified that this are the charges you have to pay for the
Shipping of your ATM CARD as they are charged Below;
DHL COURIER COMPANY fedEX COURIER EXPRESS UPS COURIER
Shipping fee: $320 Shipping fee:$290 Shipping
(2 day delivery) (2 days delivery) (3 days
For oral discussion,you can reach Mr.Albert Gilton on email or call his
office telephone line given to you above as soon as you receive this
important message for further directions and also update him on any
development from the above mentioned office.Note that is because of
impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM) so you
have to indicate this code when contacting the card center by using it as
Chief Remittance Officer,
Diamond Bank Plc,
And In Respect of The WorldBank,Switzerland.