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)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "economic and financial crimes commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ATM" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 13:13:17 -0000
Subject: RE:IMMEDIATE ATM CARD PAYMENT
IMMEDIATE ATM CARD PAYMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT,
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT
DEAR VALUED BENEFICIARY,
WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK. WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT HAS TO STOP IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT, SINCE A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM HAS BEEN APPROVED. MEANWHILE, YOUR PAYMENT HAS BEEN ARRANGED THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC. THIS IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM JONATHAN GOODLUCK, NEW PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA , ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) AS WELL AS THE INTERPOL AND FBI. IT HAS BEEN MADE EASY AND APPROVED BY JONATHAN GOODLUCK FOR ANY UNPAID CONTRACTORS / INHERITANCE FUNDS TO RECEIVE THEIR PAYMENT WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY.
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $1,500,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2012. REPEATEDLY, YOU SHOULD STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(S) TO AVOID ANY DELAY IN RECEIVING YOUR PAYMENT. THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD, WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOURMONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD. BUT THE MAXIMUM IS ONE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY PER DAY. SO IF YOU WILL LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND IN THIS WAY, PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS LISTED BELOW.
1. FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. ADDRESS TO SEND YOUR ATM CARD
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. ATTACHED COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION
HOWEVER, KINDLY FIND BELOW THE CONTACT PERSON:
DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT,
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (ATM-811) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
MRS MARIA PETERS
CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA