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)
- "million 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Willian Paris <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Willian Paris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2017 01:44:31 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Transfer Notice
This is to officially notify/inform you that we have verified your payment file
presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not yet receive your
payment due to your lack of proper conduct and not fulfilling the
obligations given to you in respect to your payment.
Secondly, you are advised to stop any dealing with some non-officials
in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to be stopped if you
really wish to receive your payment because they are there to terminate
your payment out of wickedness. Note that we have entered
into Nov which is the last segment of our foreign payment
in this fiscal year 2017 and you are among in our payment lists.
After the board of director meeting held last week, we have resolved in
finding a solution to handle your payment without anymore difficulties and
as you may know, we have arranged your payment worth US$15.5 Million Dollars,
through ATM Card/Bank to Bank Transfer or Online Banking,
which is the instruction given by our President, Dr. Patrice Talon
Republic of Benin recently.
This Card center will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to
withdraw your money from any ATM machine in your locations in any part of
the world if that becomes your choice of receipt, but the maximum is $2,500.00 per transaction and you can
withdraw 4 times per day which is $10,000.00USD.
So my dear, if you like to receive your money this way, please do
re-confirm the followings as stated below for second confirmation:
1. Full Names
2. Phone and Fax Number
3. Country of origin
4. Current Address
5. Age and Current Occupation
6. Your Identification Card/Driving License
We shall be expecting to receive your information and you have to stop
any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do
not hesitate to contact me for more details or direction, and also
please do update me with any new development.
You are advice to contact the department center with below email
address and phone number for immediate release of your payment Card to
Thanks for your co-operation and do update me once you receive your
Mr. Willian Paris
Department of Economic and Social Affairs