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)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +447024083970 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Lampard Eileen" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2011 14:48:58 -0700
Subject: Payment Notification via ATM card
Address: HSBC Invoice Finance UK Ltd
21 Farncombe Road BN11 2BW,
ATM International credit Settlement.
This is to officially notify you about your Fund that was suppose to be rendered to you via
numerous ways i.e,Courier Companies, Western Union Money Transfers and Banks. Due to this lost
of Funds of your's which was suppose to be given to you but failed to.So in this case, a
beneficial meeting was held on the 29th of April 2011 at the World Bank in Switzerland, which
top officials and Bank Governors from different countries in the world were present at the
meeting. Which they discussed on how your Fund can be given to you without any loss at this
time, which you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s)
to avoid any hitches in receiving your ATM payment. In conclusion at the meeting,The President
of World Bank Mr.Robert B.Zoellick has strictly authorized five (5) Banks in the World to
deliver all Funds through courier companies. Fund which is truly $2.8 Million Us Dollars to
all beneficiaries in various countries in the world as an ATM SWIFT CARD.
HSBC GROUP is one of the authorized Banks;
Hsbc Group Bank/London/England.
Each of this Banks are to distribute 150 ATM SWIFT CARDS to every beneficiaries in the World
that are to receive their compensation ATM CARD, so this Bank(HSBC GROUP) will send you your
ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the
world, but the maximum withdrawal is $50,000 USD per day while minimum withdrawal is $5,000
USD per day. Note that this ATM CARD of your's have been activated and a security pin code
number will be issued to you from this Bank as soon as you receive your ATM CARD for a safer
withdrawal.Please contact the ATM CARD payment department Manager Mr.John Harvey by sending
your informations to him for an immediate response. Contacts of Mr.John Harvey are as below
Mr.John Harvey .Director of ATM payment department HSBC GROUP.
Office Telephone Line: +447024083970
NOTE:FOR NON APPEARANCES DO CONTACT Mr.John Harvey with the details below
Your Full Name:
Contact Home/Cell Phone:
A Scan Copy of your Identity:
For oral discussion, you can reach Mr.John Harvey on email or call his office telephone line
given to you above as soon as you receive this important message.