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:
- 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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Lukas Giulia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:25:35 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Attention atm master card owner
Attention atm master card owner,
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your bank draft but did not hear from you since that time then i went and deposited the $1.200,000.00 usd draft/cheque in the bank.We have arranged your payment through swift card payment center Asia pacific, this card center will send you an atm card which you will use to withdraw your money in any atm machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($1,500)One Thousand, Five Hundred United States Dollars Per-Day.
Kindly contact the below person who is in possition to release your ATM Payment Card. Send your information which they will use to send the card to you.
1::Your full name::
2::Your home address where to send the atm card::
5::Your current home telephone number/mobile phone number:: ::
6::A Copy of your identification::
However, kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your ATM card.
Dr. Paulinus George, Director,
ATM Payment Department Eco-Bank
Phone Number +229 987 656 19
I have paid for the processing and delivery charges.the only money that your are going to pay to them is only $120 dollars which they will use to obtain the affidavit of ownership from the federal high court of Benin Republic.
Try to 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 card. Wait for your urgent respond. and your