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:
- 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:
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "insurance fee " (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. )
- "email@example.com" (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 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Albert <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 08:51:21 -0800
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR BENEFICARY
Please note the requested info below.
YOUR PAYMENT NOTIFICATION:
Director Inter-switch Unit ATM ISSUANCE.
This is to officially inform you that we have verified you contract/inheritance file presently on my desk,and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations given to you in respect to your contract/inheritance payment.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.
Following the recent board meeting held at our headquarters, We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT. Our card center will send you an ATM CARD which will enable you to withdraw your money from an ATM in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($3,000) Three Thousand Us Dollars per transaction. So if you like to receive your fund this way.
Track and confirm your package at http://www.fedex.com/tracking/ your tracking number is: 800277347645. After tracking, provide the delivery details as below to
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Address where you want the payment center to send your ATM CARD:
(3) Phone And Fax Number:
(4) Your Next of Kin:
(6) scanned copy of any of your valid i.d card or passport.
We shall be expecting to receive your information and you have stop any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development.
You are only to pay $98 USD for insurance fee to allow the package get to
Thanks for your co-operation.
Note: Because of impostors, we hereby issue you with our code of conduct, which is (105) so you have to indicate this code when contacting this office.
Tel; (302) 219-0040