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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- 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: "ALHAJI. MUSA USMAN" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 18:44:55 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT VIA -GOLD ATM CARD. (UN)
Central Bank of Nigeria
Tinubu Square, Victoria Island,
Lagos - Nigeria
Office of the Deputy Governor
>From the Desk of:
ALHAJI. MUSA USMAN
YOUR PAYMENT VIA -GOLD ATM CARD.
Due to the petitions received by the UN, I Secretary-General Ban ki-moon
from all over the continent in regards to the fraudulent activities going
on in the West Africa sub-region with security's agent and diplomats who
has been delaying people's funds, consignment and valuables in their
custody and demand outrageous fees to get their consignment released to
We have been having a meeting for the passed 3 months which ended 2 days
ago with the former Secretary-General (Hon. Kofi Annan) to the UNITED
NATIONS. However, we went to the African head quarters in NIGERIA on the
15TH JULY 2009 and set up this committee with sole aim of settling all
these anomalies and due to that we are contacting you today in that
This meeting was first held on the 8th of April 2003. You can view this
page for your perusal:
This email is to all people that have been scammed in any part of the
world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of
USD$8,300,000.00 This includes every foreign contractors that may have not
received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished
transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you,
these have been agreed upon and have been duly signed.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, (C.B.N), working in relationship with Zenith
Bank Plc, has concluded to issue you a GOLD CARD with which you can access
your Star prize /beneficiary amount$8,300,000.000 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
United States Dollars ($20,000.00) 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 and full country name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address where you want them to send the ATM card to (P.O box is not
4. Your age and current occupation.
You are advice to contact the director of ATM CARD payment officer for
Director, ATM payment department Apostle Dr Alex Bom
The ATM card payment center was mandated to issue out $8,300,000.00 as
part payment for this fiscal year 2008 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
Note that because of impostors, 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.
We anticipate your total compliance to this message immediately.
ALHAJI. MUSA USMAN
Office of the Deputy Governor
YOUR PAYMENT VIA -GOLD ATM CARD. (UN)