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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "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: "ATM CENTER" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 00:15:03 +0100
Subject: Re: YOUR ATM-8111 PAYMENT NOTIFICATION.
ATM-8111 PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR CONTRACT/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 IN YOUR ENTIRE ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU. WE WISH TO ADVISE 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 CENTER ASIA PACIFIC, THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM MR. PRESIDENT, GOODLUCK JONATHAN (GCFR) FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. 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 TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THIS OFFICE AND ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1. FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD TO(P.O BOX NOT
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION (international passport or drivers license).
THIS ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $8,300,000.00 AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2007. 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 ATM PAYMENT.
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTER'S, WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (ATM-811) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
BISHOP COLLINS WILLIAMS
CHIEF AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com