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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (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 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: "Mrs.Adaoha" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:54:39 +0300
Subject: YOUR FUND IS READY
Attn:The Owner of this E-mail id,
Your Name And Your Contact Details Was Given To This Office In Respect Of Your Total inherited/Compensation Sum Owed To You Which You Have Failed To Claim Because Of Either Non-Compliance Of Official Processes Or Because Of Your Unbelief Of The Reality Of Your Genuine Payment.
We Wish To Bring To You The Solution To This Problem. Right Now We Have Arranged Your Payment Through Our Swift Card Payment Centers, That Is The Latest Instruction From Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
This UBA ATM payment Center Will Send To You An ATM DEBIT Card Which You Will Use To Withdraw Your Money In Any ATM Machine In Any Part Of The World, So If You Like To Receive Your Fund In This Way, Please Let Us Know By Contacting Us Back on the following information:
CONTACT: mrlukas Bruce.
PHONE NUMBER: +2348082921959
And Also Send The Following Information As Listed Below.
1. Full Name
2. Phone And Fax Number
3. Delivery address
4.ATTACH COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION/ If any available
We Have Been Mandated By The ECOWAS Parliament To Issue Out $7.5million usd in your favor This fiscal year. 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 Payment.
Note That Because Of Impostors,We Hereby Issued You Our Code Of Conduct, Which Is (ATM-202) So You Have To Indicate This Code When Contacting The Card Center By Using It As Your Subject.
AS SOON AS I CONFIRM THE REQUIRED INFORMATION I WILL DIRECT YOU ON HOW TO PROCEED ON IMMEDIATE DISPATCHMENT OF YOUR ATM CARD PAYMENT MEANWHILE PLEASE REPLY to email@example.com
We are here to serve you better
Immediate ATM DEBIT Cash Card Payment Notification