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:
- "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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James W.Victor" <Office1@mail2world.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:13:38 +0000
Subject: PAYMENT VIA ATM MASTER CARD!!
From: Mr. James W. Victor
Executive Payment Officer (UN)
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION!!
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract
/inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not
received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling
the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract /inheritance
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in
the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish To
receive your payment immediately, again we have resolved in finding a
Solution to your problem, and as you may know, We have arranged your $12.5
million through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER
In Europe, America and Asia Pacific, which is the instruction given by the
president, YAYI BONI (GCN).
Therefore this Bank ATM card center will send you an ATM CARD which you Will
use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the
World, but the maximum is ($5,000.00) Five Thousand Us Dollars per day.
So, if you like to receive your fund this way, please do let us know by
Forwarding the below details to the bank.
Full names: __
Zip Code: ___
Marital status: ____
Scan copy of any of your identification: _
Tel/House /private: __
Mr. / Mrs.___ ___
Forward the above details to this information below.
Mr. Almond Warner UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA,
ATM PAYMENT CENTER.
Click on this link to see for yourself
Remember that Your Total Fund to be received is US $12.5Million Instead of
losing some portion of your fund, please indicate to the Card Center the
total amount you are expecting, and for your information you have to stop
any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not
hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also update me
with any new development.
Note: Because of impostors, we hereby issue you with our code of conduct,
which are (X209) so you have to indicate this code when contacting this Card
CENTER and the compulsory payment is the sum of $75.00 dollar only for the
Approval and clearing Documents of your fund from the Federal High Court of
Thanks for your co-operation.
Mr. James W.Victor