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:
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "SKYE BANK NIGERIA PLC ATM CARD ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:00:25 -0700
Subject: SKYE BANK NIGERIA PLC ATM MASTER CARD ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT
SKYE BANK NIGERIA PLC Address:
Head Office: 1668, Oyin Jolayemi Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos,Nigeria.
Direct Tel: 234-8090718221.
Attn: ATM Card Beneficiary.
Skye Bank Nigeria Plc wish to officially inform you that based on the directives and instructions of our ordering customers the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations (NNPC)SKYE Bank Nigeria Plc has credited your approved sum of US$4.5Million in your Skye Bank ATM Debit Master Card as instructed by our ordering customers Nigeria National Petroleum Corporations (NNPC) as there Consolidated Oil Reserve Account Holders here in Nigeria,this is based on the directives and instructions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the Nigerian Government to offset and release your due Contract/Inheritance grants funds,your ATM Card Debt Master is now uploaded, Stamped,Signed ,Sealed and ready for shipment to your mailing address in your country which you must reconfirm to this bank with immediate effect,your ATM Card will be fully Activated for cash withdrawals once you have reconfirm your full names,address and telephone numbers hence that is what we needed to Activate your ATM Card for your use and
Furtherance to the above this is your Skye Bank ATM Card Registration Code Reference Numbers of SK-FXJKT00147G and this is your ATM Card Personal Identifications Numbers (PIN CODE) 4509 which you will use to make withdrawals from your ATM Card in any ATM Machine around the world,i forwarded all this details to you for you to know that your ATM Card is ready for your use and will only be Activated once you reconfirm your full names that we will insert in your card as the beneficiary as we only credited your cash in the ATM Card through your SKYE Bank account number: 1016633119 which is normal process and the procedure as the approved sum of US$4.5Million must be deposited in your account before the ATM Card will be issued,note that we have an instructions to only release your funds via ATM Master Card or via International Cashiers Cheque if you so wish to be paid and your only obligations is for you to send the shipment courier fees of either your International Cashiers Cheque or your SKYE Bank ATM Master Car
Finally i will inform you what the shipment fees is and how you will send it to our bank for your shipment once we hear from you,also do reconfirm the above requested details for your shipment and the instant electronics Activations of your ATM Card while your card is on transits to your address,note that outside the shipment fees you will not pay any other fees or charges until you receive your ATM Card and start using it as your cash has been fully loaded on it for withdrawals,call me on my direct telephone number as soon as you receive this email for your urgent shipment:234-8090718221.
Mr. Mohammed Bello.
ATM CARD/Electronics Payment Director,
Skye Bank Nigeria Plc.
Direct Telephone: 234-8090718221.