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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR/PETER NDURU <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 12:08:58 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ABOUT YOUR ATM CARD
My Dear Friend ,
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your Bank Draft but did not heard from you since that time then I went and deposited the Draft with Occeanic Bank Plc here in Benin Republic, because I travelled to Japan to see my boss and will not come back till next 3 month end. I have arranged with them to make your payment to you with their new ATM
MASTER CARD $3.5million us dollras which you can use to withdraw your money like $10,000.00 usd per every day by day in any ATM MACHINE around the globe. You have to contact the Occeanic Bank Plc with your full contact informations such as follows. this atm card will droping $10,000.00 every day for you because is an international atm vissa card
1. YOUR FULL NAME......
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS ..........
3 PHONE /CELL PHONE .............
4. YOUR AGE............
5. CURRENT OCCUPATION .........
6. ATTACH COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION ....
However, Kindly contact him below because is the person who is in position to release YOUR ATM CARD. REV DR.PAUL HENRY DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT OCCEANIC BANK
EMAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org, I have paid for the processing and delivery charges.The only Money that your are going to pay to them is only $126 Dollars which they will use to Rea-ctivate your ATM Card before it will be dispatched out of this country. So Try to contact them and ask them how you will send the $126 to receive your atm card,please do urgent and contact them as soon as possible to quicken the processing of your card before your draft gets Expired . Let me know as soon as you receive your Atm Card $3.5million us dollras.