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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Ibrahim Lamorde" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 02:31:16 +0200
Subject: Re:Immediate ATM payment notification US$1.2M
Debt Management Board
Plot 12/14 Ahmadu Bello Way
Lagos - Nigeria
Re:Immediate ATM payment notification US$1.2M
Your contact email address was given to this office in respect of your outstanding inherited/contract sum owed to you which you have failed to claim as a result of difficult conditions imposed on you by the past Nigerian administration or because of your unbelief of the reality of your genuine payment.
The present government is not pleased with various petitions received from foreigners who have not received their payment because of these hard conditions imposed on them before they receive their payment. As solution to the above highlighted circumstance,we have arranged your payment to be settled through our swift card payment centers,that is the latest resolution with the economic community of west African states (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the Economic Council of United Nations Organization.
The federal government of Nigeria coordinating bank (Zenith Bank Plc)will send to you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in any atm machine in any part of the world. Take note, that the only fee you are to send is just $300 for the delivery of your ATM CARD to your home address, so if you like to receive your funds in this way, please let us know by contacting us back and also send the following information as listed below.
1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want to receive the ATM card to
(P.O Box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation
5. Attach copy of your Identification
We have been mandated by the Nigerian government in collaboration with the Economic Council of United Nations Organization to issue in your favor US$1.2M as part payment for this fiscal year 2012/2013.
Also for your information,you are advised to stop any further communication with any other person (s) or office(s) to avoid hitches or distraction in receiving your payment as scheduled.
Note that because of impostors,we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-112) so you have to indicate this code when contacting us by using it as your subject.
Looking forward to your expedite response.
Mr Ibrahim Lamorde