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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "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 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: "Dr. Oscar Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 00:10:49 -0400
Subject: Att:... Beneficiary
NOTIFICATION ABOUT YOUR ATM CARD.
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR ON TRACT/INHERITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT / INHERITANCE PAYMENT.SECONDLY WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK YOUR ENTIRE ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU.
WE WISH TO ADVICE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT ASIA PACIFIC, THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION BY THE PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN(GCFR)FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.THIS OFFICE 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 TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT OFFICE AND ALSO SEND THE
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER,
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD TO (P.O BOX NOT ACCEPTABLE)
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT
Dr. OSCAR WILLIAMS
INTEGRATED PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
EMAIL :( email@example.com)
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT OFFICE HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $12,300,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2011/2012. ALSO FOR YOUR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON (S) OR OFFICE(s).THIS IS TO AVOID ANY HITCHES IN FINALIZING YOUR PAYMENT. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org) AND GET BACK TO ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FURTHER DIRECTION IN THIS REGARDS AND ALSO UPDATE ME ON ANY DEVELOPMENT FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED OFFICE.
(MR. SADIQ ALMAN)
CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
ATM CARD PAYMENT FOR FUND BENEFICIARIES.