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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "atm payment department" (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)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "AUDIT AND ACCOUNT UNIT (BOA) ATM PAYMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 04:28:41 +0800
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT VIA BOA BANK-VISA ATM DEBIT CARD.
CENTRAL BANK OF AMERICA
Office of the AUDITOR GENERAL
From The Desk Of:
Mrs Christine P. Katziff
YOUR PAYMENT VIA BOA BANK-VISA ATM DEBIT CARD.
Account normalization of your banking details has been delayed by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Financial Services Authority (U.S.A). This has made it necessary for your contract payment to be programmed into BANK OF AMERICA Visa Atm Debit Card.The total fund in question is $8,300,000.00. This is the first part of the Payment of which the balance will subsequently be paid into same account.Bank OF AMERICA, (BOA), working in relationship with HSBC BANK LONDON ENGLAND, has concluded to issue you a VISA CARD with which you can access your contract /beneficiary amount $8,300,000.000.00 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 FIVE Thousand United States Dollars($5,000.00) per day. So if you like to receive your fund in this way,please let us know by contacting the ATM payment department and also send the following information as listed below:
1. 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
You are advice to contact the director of ATM CARD payment Unit for more directives,
Name:Mr Frank Edward
Director,ATM payment department unit
The ATM card payment center was mandated to issue out $8,300,000.00 as part payment for this fiscal year 2010 to you so bear with us. Also for your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment.Note that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct,which is (ATM-212) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card center by using it as your subject OR including it in your e-mail to the center. We anticipate your total compliance to this message immediately.
Mrs Christine P. Katziff