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)
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- 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 (Yahoo, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- department, financial bank plc benin email;( firstname.lastname@example.org )( email@example.com ) (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "PRO, JASON CRIS" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 10:37:25 -0800
Subject: CONTACT FINANCIAL BANK PLC ATM MASTER CARD OFFICE BENIN!!!
Hello my dear customer,
We have actually been authorized by the newly appointed united nation secretary general, and the governing body of the UNITED NATIONS monetary unit, to investigate the unnecessary delay on your payment, recommended and approved in your favour. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily Delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank who are Trying to divert your funds into their private accounts.To fornish this, security for your funds was organized in the form of your personal Identification number:NO:5399830637420496/(PIN):1234/AND ALSO HERE IS YOUR:TTRANSATION DETAILS STATUS ID:LSO543269861390 OF YOUR (ATM MASTER CARD) and all the necessary arrengement has made with FINANCIAL BANK PLC BENIN and the manager of FINANCIAL BANK PLC ATM MASTER CARD BENIN told me that they need to confirm your details first before they could process in the area of delivery your ATM MASTER CARD to you,so get back to us immediately for easier delivery .
Director ATM Payment Department,
FINANCIAL BANK plc Benin
Email;( firstname.lastname@example.org )( email@example.com )
NOTE: YOU ARE ADVICED TO FURNISH DR.JIMSON BROWN WITH YOUR CORRECT AND VALID DETAILS. ALSO BE INFORMED THAT THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS CREDITED INTO YOUR ATM MASTER CARD USD$3,500,000.00 ONLY.
We expect your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor this
payment effectively thereby making contact with DR.JIMSON BROWN
as directed to avoid further delay.
CONTACT FINANCIAL BANK PLC ATM MASTER CARD OFFICE BENIN!!!
and be advised to reconfirm your full information to DR.JIMSON BROWN.
1. YOUR FULL NAME..................................
2. YOUR COUNTRY....................................
3. YOUR HOME DELIVERY ADDRESS........
4. YOUR AGE AND OCCUPATION:..............
5. YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE...................
6. YOUR CURRENT CELL PHONE.........................
7. A COPY OF YOUR ID/ PICTURE.....................
Contact him now for the delivery of your ATM MASTER CARD. As soon as you establish a contact with him, an ATM card will be issued to you immediately that you can use to withdraw your funds in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is $7,000.00 per day. So if you like to receive your funds through this means you're advised to contact the ATM card payment center with the needed details:
ONCE AGAIN CONGRATULATIONS!!!
FINANCIAL BANK PLC ATM MASTER
CARD OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC