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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "atm card department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR ELVIS DURU" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 18:34:40 +0100
Subject: YOUR PART PAYMENT BY ATM MASTER CARD
FROM THE DESK OF MR MR ELVIS DURU
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
ZENITH BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,
Notification of payment by ATM Master Credit Card
We hereby officially notifying you about the present arrangement to pay you, your over due contract/inheritance fund which you could not complete the process of the released of your transfer pin code through the Digitalized Payment System. We have decided to pay your funds to you through (ATM Master Express Credit Card) This arrangement was initiated/constituted by the World Bank and Paris Club, due to fraudulent activities going on within the African Region.
Based on the issue at hand, I wish to inform you that before a cent leaves the shore of Nigeria to any contractor or beneficiary. A grade (A) bank are expected to open a domiciliary account to all beneficiaries in Nigeria with a designated grade A bank including our bank, Zenith Bank International from where your funds has been gazatted for payment. After the opening of the account and have details of the account forwarded to the central Bank of Nigeria which will immediately credit the account with the approved sum for this quater payment as directed by CBN.
Sir,this is because the Central Bank of Nigeria cannot transfer or credit funds directly to individual account nor matter your personality or your country,they must go through grade (A) Commercial banks .
The World Bank and Paris Club introduced this payment arrangement as to enable our contractors/inheritance beneficiary to receive their fund without any interference. The ATM Master Express Credit Card was contracted and powered by GOLD CARD WORLD WIDE. Reconfirm the following information to us for Security reason.
1)YOUR FULL NAME
2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER
Upon the receipt of this mail we are going to load your fund into the Master Express Credit Card and send a scan copy of the card to you before we will proceed to dispatch the card directly to your nominated home address so you absolutely have nothing to worry about all we need is your Prompt Response and Co-operation by Gods Grace we will have a successful Transaction.
Contact the ATM CARD department
Mr Brown Nze
Email To Contact: email@example.com
CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
MR ELVIS DURU
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
ZENITH BANK OF NIGERIA PLC,
CC:ALL FOREIGN INHERITANCE FUNDS
CC:CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR
CC:BOARD OF DIRECTORS [FPD]
CC:ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF NIGERIA
CC:FED.MINISTRY OF FINANCE