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:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: ''Atm''< firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 19:41:12 +0100
Subject: RE: IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT ORDER VIA ATM CARD..
Dear fund beneficiary,
RE: IRREVOCABLE PAYMENT ORDER VIA ATM CARD
Based on series of petitions we received by from various organizations such as Cooperate Bodies and Non Governmental
Organization (NGO) on the Inability of some Government officials, Commercial banks and World Lottery Organization to settle
their clients Contract debt, Inheritance and Winning Prizes. We have been authorized by the Debt Reconciliation Unit of this
institution, to investigate the unnecessary delay on payment approved in your favor.
During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt
officials of the Bank who are trying to divert your funds into their personal accounts.After an extensive close door meeting yesterday, it was resolved
and agreed upon that Mr. Paul Nelson will work extensively to ensure that all contract payment, Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prizes
be settled without any hassle. For security reasons, your funds will be packaged in form of your personal Identification number (PIN) ATM CARD
and this will enable only you to have direct control over your funds. We will monitor this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by
previous bank officials.
An irrevocable payment guarantee has been issued by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on your
Payment. However, we are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation/Instructions; your complete Inheritance funds
have been credited in your favor through ATM CARD.You are therefore advice to contact:
Mr. Paul Nelson
Director ATM Payment Department
Email Address: email@example.com
You are requested to contact him now for the delivery of your ATM Card. As soon as you establish a contact with him, an ATM
card will be issued to you immediately which you can use from any Bank ATM Machine in the world. So if you like to receive
your funds through this means, you are advised to contact (Mr. Paul Nelson) with the following information as stated below:
1. Your Full Name:
5. Telephone Numbers:
NOTE: You are advised to furnish Mr. Paul Nelson with your correct and valid details. Also be informed that the amount to
be paid to you is US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) we expect your urgent response to this email to enable
us monitor the payment effectively.
Mr. Patrick Davis.