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:
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: OCEANIC BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 23:34:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FROM THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNT MANAGER OCEANIC BANK
FROM THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNT MANAGER OCEANIC BANK
45 AJOSE ADEOGUN STREET,
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR INHERITANCE FILE AND DISCOVERED REASONS WHY YOU ARE YET TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT. IT IS BECAUSE OF IRREGULARITIES AND COMPLICATIONS DISCOVERED ON YOUR PAYMENT FILE BY OUR TECHNICAL EXPERTS IN RESPECT TO YOUR CONTRACT / INHERITANCE PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS WHICH HAVE JUST BEEN DULY RECTIFIED.
MEANWHILE, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH IMPOSTORS AND NON RECOMMENDED OFFICIALS IN THE BANK. SUCH ACTS MUST STOP FOR SECURITY REASONS IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR INHERITANCE PAYMENT.WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM,RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGE YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH THE OCEANIC BANK ATM SWIFT CARD PAYMENT UNDER RESERVE BANK OPERATION ACT 2005 , THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION BY WORLD BANK.
THE SWIFT CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDREW YOUR MONEY FROM ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD,BUT THE MAXIMUM IS $8,000 \$10,000 USD DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECIEVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE DO LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT OFFICER ON EMAIL:(email@example.com) AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO SWIFT CARD OFFICER:
(1)PHONE AND FAX NUMBER,
(2)ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE CARD THROUGH DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE ( P.OBOX NOT ACCEPTED).
(3) YOUR FULLNAME.
(4)SCAN COPLY OF INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT/ ID CARD:
FOR YOUR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER
COMMINUCATION WITH ANY UNAUTHORIZED OFFICE UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THE ATM CARD.
NOTE: BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUE YOU OUR
CODE OF CONDUCT TAG NUMBER WHICH IS (3532) SO YOU MUST HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD OFFICER.
FINALLY YOU ARE ADVICE TO CALL THE ATM ACCOUNT MANAGER.
BARRISTER. WISDOM PETER.
PERSONAL MOBILE NUMBER:+2347027053174
OCEANIC BANK ACCOUNT MANAGER.
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA