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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UBA ATM DEPARTMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 20:25:15 +0530
Subject: APPROVED (ATM 811) CONTACT OUR ISSUING BANK NOW!
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATION
ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT (UBA)
TEL LINE: +2348036233806
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR CONTRACT FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT, SECONDLY WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE OFFICIALS IN THE BANK ALL YOUR ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND TO YOU.
WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF YOU WISHES TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM.
RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM THE NEW ELECTED PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN. AND EFCC.AS WELL THE INTERPOL AND FBI.
THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU A N ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, BUT THE MAXIMUM IS TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY.
THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAVE BEEN MANDATED YOUR ($2.5 MILLION) OUT AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS YEAR 2013.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. Please make sure you send this needed info's to the Director General MR.CHIAGOZIE EMMANUEL E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) TEL LINE: +2348030827531.
FOR ORAL DISCUSSION, CALL AND EMAIL BACK AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FURTHER DIRECTION AND ALSO UPDATE ON ANY DEVELOPMENT FROM T HE ABOVE MENTIONED OFFICE. PLEASE RECONFIRM YOUR PERSONAL DATA AS FOLLOWING:
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND THE ATM CARD
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. ATTACH COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION
WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (ATM-811) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN IT'S ABOUT TO RECEIVE YOUR CARD, THE CA RD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.
MR AUSTIN EJIMOFOR
DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT (UBA)
YOUR PAYMENT HAVE BEEN APPROVED (ATM 811) CONTACT OUR ISSUING BANK NOW!