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:
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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: Mallam Sanusi Lamido <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 06:51:33 -0800 (PST)
Re: ATM Card Payment Notification
Executive Governor (CBN)
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract / inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract / inheritance payment.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately. After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER in Europe, America and Asia Pacific, which is the instruction given by our New President, JONATHAN GOOD LUCK (GCFR) Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This card center will send you an ATM Card which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum is $10 million dollars ($5,000.00) Five Thousand Dollars per day. So, if you like to receive your fund this way, please do let us know by forwarding the below details to Rev Paul Obi the CARD PAYMENT CENTER on this e-mail: email@example.com
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Address where you want the payment center to send your ATM Card:
(3) Phone/Fax Number:
(4) Your Total Fund to be received:
(5) Your Age/Occupation:
(6) A Scan of Your International Pass Port/Identity Card:
Instead of loosing your fund, please indicate to the Card Center the total sum you are expecting and for your Information you have stop any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not hesitate to Contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Mr Sanusi Lamido