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:
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "abuja" (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.
- email@example.com (Hotmail, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Bello Usman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 15:02:09 +0100 (BST)
Subject: UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT, IN AFFILIATION WITH WORLD BANK.
Attn: Mr & Mrs.
How are you today?
We have been having series
of meeting for the past 8 months which ended 2 days ago with the
secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.We wish to inform you that effect from
March 7th, 2010 UNITED NATIONS directive has been implemented by The
government of west african countries head in Abuja nigeria to settle all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world MOSTLY IN WEST AFRICAN SUB REGION, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$(1,200.00
includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their
contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction that
failed due to Government problems etc.We found your name in our list and
that is why we are
contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
directive sets part-payment of US$(1,200.00 to beneficiary WHO FAIL
VICTIM OF INTERNET SCAM and direct transfers from commercial banks both
within and outside Nigeria would no longer be approved to fund beneficiary at the CBN Clearing House. Such transactions are now to be paid to beneficiary through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
To receive you ATM Card,
kindly make available your full name for processing of your ATM Card,
address for delivery
of your ATM Card/Draft and contact phone number for easy
communication.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 One Thousand, Five Hundred United States Dollars Per-Day.
This meeting was first held on the 8th of April 2003 by the then secretary to the UN.You can view this page for your perusal :
http: //www.un.org /News/Press/d ocs/2003/ik34 4.doc.htm
Kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your ATM Payment Card.
Send your information which they will use to send the card to you.You
are advised to contact our paying center as they are our
representative in Republic of Benin.Contact Rev Ban Moon, immediately to
receive your compensation without any delay.
Rev Benson Wood.
No 1/6 st Akpapa Segbeya
Email: ( email@example.com )
Tele : +229 97 031 337.
We will request you to get back to this office as soon as you have received and confirmed your payment.
Making the world a better place.
Dr Bello Usman.
For United Nation.
G537 W Lehigh Ave,
Philadel phia, PA 19133