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:
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Delores Ben." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 23:59:51 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Attn: Dear Beneficiary,
Attn: Dear Beneficiary,
Good day to you and your family, and how are you doing today? This is to officially notify you that we have verified your payment file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not yet receive your payment due to your lack of proper conduct and not fulfilling the obligations given to you in respect to your payment.
Secondly, you are advised to stop any dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you really wish to receive your payment because they are their to terminate and jeopardize your payment out of
wickedness. Note that we have entered into Septembre/ Oc tomber which is the second segment of our foreign payment in this physical year 2012 and you are among of our payment list
After the board of director meeting held last week, we have resolved in finding a solution to handle your payment without
anymore difficulty, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment through ATM Master Card, which is the instruction given by our President, Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni (RB) Republic of Benin last month.
This Card center will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money from any ATM office in your locations in any part of the world, but the maximum is $1,500.00 per transaction and you can withdraw 3 times par day which is $4,500.00,
So my dear, if you like to receive your money this way, please due re-confirm the followings as stated below for second confirmation:
1. Full Name
2. Phone and Fax Number
4.Age and Current Occupation
5.Your Identification Card DRIVING LICENCE
We shall be expecting to receive your information and you have stop any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development.
You are advice to contact the department center with below email address and phone number for immediate release of your payment Card to you now
E-mail address: [ email@example.com )
International settlement Officer
Rev Fr Edward Tony
Phone: +229 98843745
Thanks for your co-operation and do update me once you receive your Card.