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:
- "contact the atm card center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "F B I OFFICE" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2016 23:39:27 +0200
Subject: Re;FEDERAL BURAU OF INVESTIGATION.
FEDERAL BURAU OF INVESTIGATION
Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber Crime Division
J. Edgar. Hoover Building Washington Dc
Anti-Terrorist And Monetary Crimes Division
FBI Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Telephone Number : (210)852 2260
Re: Funds Release Notification.
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organisation's who
are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes
those of Lottery/Gambling, Contract and Inheritance. Through our Fraud
Monitory Unit we have also noticed that over the past you have been
transacting with some impostors and fraudsters who have been
impersonating the likes of Prof. So ludo/ Mr.Lamido Sanusi of the
Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza,
Bode Williams, Frank, Anderson, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith
Banks, Kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of FedEx, Ibrahim Sule, Dr. Usman
Shamsuddeen and some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of
The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet
Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) of how some people have lost outrageous
sums of money to these impostors. As a result of this we hereby advise
you to stop communication with any one not referred to you by us. We
have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment
of $15,000,000.00 will be released to you via ATM card with a maximum
withdrawal limit of $15,000 per day which is powered by Visa Card and
can be used anywhere in the world where you see a Visa Card Logo on
the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). We have advised that this should
be the only way at which you are to receive your payment because its
more guaranteed, since over $5 billion was lost on fake cheque last
We guarantee 100% receipt of your payment, because we have perfected
everything in regards to the release of your $15 million United States
Dollars to be 100% guarantee free and free from any hitches as its our
duty to protect citizens of the United States of America and also Asia
and Europe. (This is as a result of the mandate from US Government to
make sure all debts owed to citizens of American and also Asia and
Europe which includes Inheritance,
Contract, Gambling/Lottery etc are been cleared for the betterment of the
current economic status of the nation and its citizens as he has always
believed, Our Time for Change has come because, Change can
happen). Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS
website to confirm people like you who have received their payment
YOU CAN AS WELL TRACK AND CONFIRM THOSE BENEFICIARIES WHO HAVE PAY AND YOUR PACKAGE WAS DELIVER TO THERE DOOR STEP.
TRACKING NO: 4019920166............JAPAN
TRACKING NO: 4865474946............USA
TRACKING NO: 4865474935...............USA
TRACKING NO: 4865474950..............USA
To redeem your fund you are hereby advised to contact the ATM Card
Center via email for their requirement to proceed and procure your
Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order
on your behalf which will cost you $185.00 only nothing more and no
hidden fees as everything else has been taken cared of by the Federal
Government including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all you
will ever need to pay is $185.00 only.
ATM Visa Card Director Contact Information :
Name: Dr. Linus Peterson
Address:Intercontinental House.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do contact Dr. Linus Peterson of the ATM Card Center via his contact details
above and furnish him with your details as listed below:
1. Your full Name:......................... ..............................
2. Home/Cell Phone:........................ ..............................
3. Occupation:................... ..............................
4. Age:.......................... ..............................
5. Your Address (where you will like your ATM CARD to be sent
On contacting him with your details your files would be updated and he
will be sending you the payment information in which you will use in
making payment of $185.00 via Western Union Money Transfer for the
procurement of your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of
your ATM Release Order. After which the delivery of your ATM card will
be affected to your designated home address without any further delay,
extra fee or any authority raising eyebrow. Upon receipt of payment
the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 48
working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you
a 100% money back guarantee if you do not receive your ATM CARD
Shipment Confirmation within the next 48hrs after you have made the
payment. Once again we are so sure of you receiving your payment at no
any other cost as we have taking it upon our duty to monitor
everything in other to cub cyber crime that is perpe! trated by those
Thanks and hope to read from you soon.
JAMES B. COMEY, ,
DIRECTOR: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
Note: Disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices
claiming to be in possession of your ATM card, you are hereby advice
only to be in contact with Dr.L.Peterson of the ATM card center who is
the rightful person to deal with in regards to your payment and
forward any emails you get from impostors to this office so we could
act upon it immediately. Help stop cyber crime