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:
- 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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- +447011139979 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "HSBC BANK LONDON" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 23:58:25 +0100
Subject: HSBC ATM CARD UPDATE
ATM PAYMENT UPDATE
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT
HSBC BANK UNITED KINGDOM
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR LOAN/INHERITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR INHERITANCE PAYMENT WHICH HAS BEEN IN OUR CUSTODY FOR YEARS NOW IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED ALL THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR INHERITANCE PAYMENT.
FURTHER MORE WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU MAY HAVE CONTACTED AND DEALT WITH NON OFFICIALS OF THE BANK IN THE PAST, ALL IN EVERY ATTEMPTS TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUNDS TO YOU.WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER HSBC BANK LONDON.
THIS CARD CENTER WILL GIVE YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY AT ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, BUT YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO WITHDRAW MONTHLY A MAXIMUM OF $10,000 USD ONLY(TEN THOUSAND
UNITED STATES DOLLARS) PER MONTH.SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR INHERITANCE /CONTRACT FUND IN THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT MANAGER AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS LISTED BELOW.
1. FULL NAME:
2. FULL ADDRESS :
3. PHONE AND FAX #:
4. YOUR AGE :
5. GENDER :
CONTACT THE OFFICER IN CHARGE DIRECTLY FOR YOUR OWN ATM CARD
MR BEN BAMARKI,
MANAGER HSBC BANK.
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $1,500,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2010 FROM THE HSBC BANK.ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION,YOU ARE TO STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(S)TO AVOID ANY HITCH IN RECEIVING YOUR PAYMENT.
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUE YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (HSBC-121/2010) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT,
HSBC BANK UK.