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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "contact the atm card center" (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 united states 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)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROBERT S. MUELLER" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:22:08 -0400
Subject: UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
Customers Service Hours/Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday To Saturday:
Attention: Peter Jones,
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations
who are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes
those of Lottery/Gambling, Contract and Inheritance. Through our Fraud
Monitory Unit we have also noticed that over the past you have been
transacting with some impostors and fraudsters who have been impersonating
the likes of Prof. Soludo of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick
Aziza, Frank, Anderson, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks,
Kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of FedEx, Ibrahim Sule, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen
and some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet
Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) formerly known as the Internet Fraud
Complaint Center (IFCC) of how some people have lost outrageous sums of
money to these impostors. As a result of this we hereby advise you to stop
communication with any one not referred to you by us.
We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment
totaling $6,100,000.00 be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card
with a maximum withdrawal limit of $5,000 a day which is powered by Visa
Card and can be used anywhere in the world were you see a Visa Card Logo
on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). We have advised that this should be
the only way at which you are to receive your payment because it is more
guaranteed, since over $5 billion was lost on fake check year two (2)
We guarantee 100% receipt of your payment, because we have perfected
everything in regards to the release of your $6.1 million United States
Dollars to be 100% risk free and free from any hitches as it is our duty
to protect you. (This is as a result of the mandate from US Government to
make sure all debts owed to people which includes Inheritance, Contract,
Gambling/Lottery etc are been cleared for the betterment of the current
economic status of the nation and its citizens as he bas always believed
(Our Time for Change has come because Change can happen)
Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS website to
confirm people like you who have received their payment successfully.
Name: Racheal Frank: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011070 (www.ups.com)
Name: Zaidi Mohammed: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011025 (www.ups.com)
Name: Stephen Medaris: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011089 (www.ups.com)
Name: Seddek Farhard: UPS Tracking Number...1z89249r2210011098 (www.ups.com)
To redeem your fund you are hereby advised to contact the ATM Card Center
via email for their requirement to proceed and procure your Approval of
Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order on your behalf
which will cost you $265 only nothing more and no hidden fees as
everything else has been taken cared of by the Federal Government
including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all you will ever need
to pay is $265 only.
Name: Mr Kelvin Williams
Cell Phone: +2348153635655
Do contact Mr Kelvin Williams of the ATM Card Center via his contact
details above and furnish him with your details as listed below, calling
him on his hotline will be faster than to email him:
Your full Name:
Your full Address (where you will like your ATM CARD to be sent to):
A Scan Copy Of Your Identity Card For Identification
On contacting him with your details your files would be updated and he
will be sending you the payment information in which you will use in
making payment of $265 via Western Union Money Transfer for the
procurement of your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your
ATM Release Order. After which the delivery of your ATM card will be
effected to your designated home address without any further delay, extra
fee or any authority raising eyebrow.
Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package
is sent within 24 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we
are giving you a 100% money back guarantee if you do not receive your ATM
CARD Shippment Confirmation within the next 24hrs after you have made the
payment for shipping.
Once again we are so sure of you receiving your payment at no any other
cost as we have taking it upon our duty to monitor everything in other to
cub cyber crime that is perpetrated by those impostors,
Thanks and hope to read from you soon.
ROBERT S. MUELLER,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535