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:
- "atm payment department" (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)
- 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.
- +447086464495 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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. Edward Fox" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 23:41:33 +0200
Subject: Open the attached File and read the letter carefully before you call on +447086464495
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION
1775 K ST NW # 400
WASHINGTON D.C., DC 20006-1500, UNITED STATES
Dear Email Owner/Fund Beneficiary,
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION FRAUD COMPENSATION IS APPROVED.
IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT ORDER VIA ATM CARD
We have actually been authorized by the United Nation secretary general, and the governing body of the UNITED NATIONS Monetary Unit, to investigate the unnecessary Fraud Related matters.
The United Nation board of directors has recorded over 50,000.00 report base on fraud matter. The Organization has agreed to each of the victims the sum of $400, 000.00.
To forestall security and unnecessarily delay again, your funds has been loaded in the ATM VISA CARD and personal Identification PIN number assign to it, this will enable only you to have direct Control over your funds in the ATM CARD. We will monitor this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by the corrupt bank officials.
An irrevocable payment guarantee has been issued by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on your Payment. However, we are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation/ Instructions, your complete funds have been credited in your favor through ATM VISA CARD.
You are therefore advice to contact:
Mr. TONY CLARK,
Director ATM Payment Department
(SOMERSET BANK OF LONDON)
Email Address: email@example.com
Bank TEL: + 447086464495
Fax Number: + 447086464495
Contact Mr. Tony Clark now for the delivery of your ATM Card. As soon as you establish a contact with him, an ATM card will be issued to you immediately which you can use to withdraw your funds in any VISA ATM Machine any part of the world.
NOTE: You are advised to furnish Mr. Tony Clark with your correct and valid details in the requested information below. We expect your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor this payment effectively.
Finally, all the victims most surely comply with the paying Bank with the fee to ship the ATM Card to his /her postal address through DHL Services, The bank will ask you to pay the sum of £489.87,once the payment is made ,your compensation money will directly put into your Atm card and will be posted to you.
1. Your Full Name:
2. Address Where the ATM Card will be delivered:
3. Your Age:
5. Telephone Numbers:
Dr. Edward Fox.