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:
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "lagos" (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Morgan Ibekweoru" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 08:45:22 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir
From: The Office of the
Secretary General of Nigeria
5Th Floor, Apo towers,
Victoria Island , Lagos-Nigeria.
Attn:Category (A) Beneficiary
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file and found out why you have not received your payment,
is because you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect of your settlement. Secondly we have been informed that
you are still dealing with the none officials in the bank and your entire attempts 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, Goodluck Jonathan (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 Thirty five thousand dollars($35,000.00) per day, so if you like to receive your fund this way please contact me immediately
and also send the following information:
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Your Age And Marital Status:
(3) Your Occupation:
(4) Your Telephone/Fax Number:
(5) Your Nationality:
The ATM card payment center has been mandated to issue out us$10Million your Part payment for this fiscal year 2011. 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-822) so you have to
indicate this code when contacting the card center by using it as your subject.
Secretary General of Nigeria
On Diplomatic Compensation Program Unit
This e-mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient,
please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message