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:
- 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)
- "atm card department" (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)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:51:22 +0900
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT VIA HSBC-VISA ATM DEBIT CARD.
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
DR Sanusi Lamido
Director, Foreign Operations
ATM Card Department
Central Bank of Nigeria.
YOUR PAYMENT VIA HSBC-VISA ATM DEBIT CARD.
Account normalization of your banking details has been delayed by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Financial Services Authority (UK). This has made it necessary for your contract payment to be programmed into HSBC Visa Atm Debit Card. The total fund in question is $8,300,000.00 This is the first part of the Payment of which the balance will subsequently be paid into same account.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), working in relationship with HSBC London has concluded to issue you a VISA CARD with which you can access your contract amount$8,300,000.000 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 One Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars($1,500) per day. So if you like to receive your fund in this way, please let us know by contacting the ATM payment department and also send the following information as listed below:
1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM card to (p.o box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation
However for the purpose of proper verification of your Identity, apmg other relevant information ans release of your HSBC Visa Atm Card to you, it is important you contact the office of the Director, Debit Card Dept for a special payment at the above listed address or directly reply to this Email.
DR Sanusi Lamido
DIRECTOR,DEBIT CARD DEPT
(SPECIAL PAYMENT SCHEME)
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.